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John James 'strongly considering' run for U.S. House under new map

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Republican John James, a former U.S. Senate candidate, is "strongly considering" a run for the U.S. House in 2022, two sources close to him said Tuesday, minutes after the state's redistricting commission adopted a new congressional map.

James, whom many in the GOP view as an influential figure within their party, is expected to run in the new 10th District, which will likely be a battleground featuring portions of Oakland and Macomb counties. The district includes Rochester Hills, Warren and Sterling Heights.

GOP U.S. Senate candidate John James talks to his supporters.

James, a businessman from Farmington Hills, doesn't appear to live in the new district, but that's not a legal requirement for running for the U.S. House. James could also move.

On Tuesday afternoon, Michigan's Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission adopted the new map for the 13 congressional districts that will govern the state's U.S. House races for the next decade.

Several U.S. House candidates and incumbents began announcing where they would run immediately after the adoption of the map Tuesday.

Other Republicans are also said to be looking at running in the new 10th District, including former U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop of Rochester; Oakland County GOP Chairman Rocky Raczkowski of Troy; and former U.S. House nominees Lena Epstein of Bloomfield Township and Eric Esshaki of Birmingham.

It's unclear which Democrats will jump into the race. U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, a Democrat from Oakland County, said Tuesday that she plans to run in the new 11th District.

U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, a Democrat from Bloomfield Township, currently represents portions of Oakland and Macomb counties. He could run in the 10th or the 11th.

James ran for the U.S. Senate in 2018 and 2020, losing to incumbent Democrats in both elections. However, he outperformed the top of the Republican ticket in the two cycles and demonstrated the ability to appeal to the establishment side of the GOP and the side that heavily favors former President Donald Trump.

Trump has previously praised James, calling him "spectacular" in 2018. Some in the GOP have hoped James would run for governor against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2022, but his interest in the U.S. House seems to make that less of a likelihood.

In 2020, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, beat James by fewer than 100,000 votes, 50%-48%. The Republican lost to Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Lansing by 6.5 percentage points in 2018.

The race against Peters last year attracted about $206 million in campaign donations and spending, including an outpouring of money from groups that worked outside of the two candidates' campaigns, according to tracking by the nonprofit Michigan Campaign Finance Network. The nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics ranked the race the eighth most expensive U.S. Senate contest in the nation for the election cycle.

cmauger@detroitnews.com

Staff Writers Beth LeBlanc and Melissa Nann Burke contributed.