Rep. Maxine Waters endorses Levin in U.S. House primary contest

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

California U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters on Friday endorsed U.S. Rep. Andy Levin in his Democratic primary battle with another colleague, Rep. Haley Stevens.  

Waters, who represents the Los Angeles area, chairs the House Financial Services Committee, formerly chaired the Congressional Black Caucus and is the most senior Black female member of Congress. She was first elected in 1990.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020.

Waters highlighted Levin's work "fighting for human rights, workers’ rights and racial justice," calling him "the kind of progressive champion this moment demands."

“First drawn to activism as an anti-apartheid activist in college and then starting his career helping women and especially women of color organize their health care facilities with SEIU, Andy continues to be an anti-racist co-conspirator fighting for housing justice, economic justice and the rights of Black people at home and abroad," she said in a statement.

Both Waters and Levin are members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

“I have long admired Chairwoman Waters and it is still hard for me to believe that I get to serve alongside a legend like her, let alone earn her trust and support,” Levin said. 

"I’m really proud of the work we’re doing to deliver for Black and working families at long last, and I am committed to returning to Congress to continue the fight.”

Stevens' campaign declined to comment.

Levin of Bloomfield Township and Stevens of Waterford Township are each running for a third term in the new 11th District, which covers communities such as Royal Oak, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield Township and Pontiac.

Stevens last week was endorsed by a dozen Democratic U.S. lawmakers, including several members of the New Democrat Coalition. U.S. Reps. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, and Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, have also backed her. 

Levin has picked up endorsements by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, as well as the Communications Workers of America, the Service Employees International Union, UNITE HERE and J Street PAC, among others.