Lawrence wins 14th, vows to bring people together
Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence won the 14th Congressional District seat being vacated by Congressman Gary Peters, who is headed to the U.S. Senate.
The Democrat received 78 percent of votes, defeating Republican Christina L. Barr who garnered 20 percent. Other candidates received 2 percent or less of votes.
Lawrence said she was looking forward going to U.S. House to "bring people together... so we can take care of Michigan and this country"
She also said she wants to start a caucus of former mayors caucus in the U.S. House — and she said there are about two dozen serving.
"Mayors, we think differently. A pothole doesn't have an R or D on it," she said. "Let's start thinking like mayors again and how can we work together." She said she'd like to serve on the House Transportation and Oversight committees.
The election of Lawrence ensures that Michigan's 14-member House delegation has two African-Americans. It has only had Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Detroit, following decades of having at least two black representatives.
Lawrence replaces Peters, the Bloomfield Township Democrat who has represented the consolidated district during the past two years.
Lawrence won a hotly contested Aug. 5 primary in the Democratic-leaning district that includes parts of northwest Detroit, Oakland and Wayne counties. She received 36 percent of the vote to state Rep. Rudy Hobbs' 32 percent and former Congressman Hansen Clarke's 31 percent.
Barr was chosen by Oakland and Wayne county GOP leaders after Christina Conyers, a cousin of John Conyers, withdrew from the race because she moved to Maryland. Barr runs an independent publishing company and founded "The Gorgeous Geeks" website that encourages people to embrace their intelligence.
Lawrence has said she would work hard to be inclusive of all parts of the district, which snakes from Pontiac south through Oakland County and draws in parts of northern and east Detroit and the Grosse Pointes.
"Everyone has a seat at my table as a congresswoman," Lawrence said after her Aug. 5 primary victory.
The race is Lawrence's fourth attempt to win an office higher than the Southfield mayor's position.