Hillary Clinton endorses Rep. Stevens in U.S. House primary contest over Levin

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Former presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed Democratic U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens for reelection Thursday in her primary matchup against U.S. Rep. Andy Levin. 

Stevens, who is seeking a third term, was previously endorsed by Clinton when she first ran for Congress in 2018 and went on to flip a Republican-held seat as U.S. Rep. Dave Trott retired. 

Hillary Clinton

In her endorsement, Clinton cited the Supreme Court's overturning of the constitutional right to an abortion last month, saying the justices had "rolled back the clock 50 years.”

"It has never been more important to have pro-choice women in office to enshrine abortion rights into law and defend the rights of America’s women and girls," Clinton said in a statement.

"In 2018, Haley Stevens stepped up and flipped a red seat blue and became the first woman to represent Michigan's 11th District in Congress because she refused to sit on the sidelines while Donald Trump’s radical Republican agenda went unchecked.”

"I have always known Haley Stevens to be a fighter, and that's why I am proud to endorse Oakland County's Congresswoman in her re-election campaign," Clinton added. "Her sleeves are rolled up, and she will never stop fighting for the rights of every Michigan woman and girl.” 

More:Levin-Stevens primary gets more heated, but candidates' approaches differ

Stevens has known Clinton for 15 years, having worked on Clinton’s first campaign for president on the policy side in 2007 and 2008.

Stevens of Waterford Township and Levin of Bloomfield Township are both running to represent the new 11th District in Oakland County that covers communities such as Royal Oak, Birmingham, Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield Township and Pontiac. 

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens participates in the 4th of July parade in Huntington Woods, July 4, 2022.

Stevens said she was honored to have Clinton's endorsement saying that working for her early in her career inspired her to run for Congress in 2018. 

Levin last week was endorsed by one of Clinton's former opponents, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who upset Clinton in Michigan's presidential primary in 2016. 

Levin this week picked up the endorsement of former Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards, who emphasized Levin's background as an activist and union organizer. Richard is now co-chair of the political action committee American Bridge, which supports Democratic candidates.

“Now, when women’s rights are under attack, we need organizers who know how to mobilize and who have the trust of activists on the ground,” Richards said in a statement.

“I’ve watched Andy use his office and influence to end the stigma around abortion and to demand real action. It’s crucial we send Andy back to Washington.”

Both Levin and Stevens are endorsed by Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

mburke@detroitnews.com