LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Democrat C.B. Smith on Wednesday said he's running for Congress in Michigan's 7th District, aiming to challenge Republican Rep. Tim Walberg of Tipton. 

In its announcement, Smith's campaign said he wants to solve the climate change crisis and bring green energy and good-paying jobs back to Michigan. 

Smith is the second Democrat running for the seat. Sam Branscum of Deerfield filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission in March. 

Walberg, a former pastor and state lawmaker, is in his sixth term in the U.S. House. He defeated Democrat Gretchen Driskell of Saline last fall by 7.6 percentage points. 

Driskell has unsuccessfully run against Walberg in the past two elections. Though Democrats considered the Republican vulnerable, Walberg's victories have made the 7th District more reliably Republican than the 8th and 11th districts that the party lost in the 2018 election.

Catholic bishops meet with lawmakers

A handful of Michigan’s Catholic bishops stopped Wednesday at the state Capitol building Wednesday to meet with area legislators. 

All 148 legislators and staff members were invited to a reception with the Catholic leaders, who had met earlier that day for a quarterly Michigan Catholic Conference board of directors meeting, said David Maluchnik, a spokesman for the conference. 

Bishops from five of the Michigan’s seven dioceses, including Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron, attended the Capitol reception. Gaylord Bishop Steven Raica and Kalamazoo Bishop Paul Bradley were not able to attend, Maluchnik said. 

Michigan’s seven bishops, five lay people, a priest and a religious sister serve on the board of directors for the conference, which acts as the public policy arm of the Catholic Church in Michigan. 

This is the second such reception the conference has hosted with the bishops, Maluchnik said. The first reception was in June 2017.

mburke@detroitnews.com

eleblanc@detroitnews.com

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2019/09/05/political-insider-new-walberg-democratic-challenger/2208403001/