For Congress: Mitchell, Johnson, Walberg, Bishop
All 14 of Michigan’s congressional seats are up in the Nov. 8 election, and helping shape the right House is a serious responsibility. No matter who is elected president, Congress’ balancing role will be more important than ever to keep executive power in check.
Both Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are likely to push the bounds of presidential authority, which has expanded considerably during the past two administrations.
Voters should be looking for strong, independent representatives with good character and a commitment to working toward compromise on the critical issues facing our nation.
Michigan has two open seats in this cycle due to the retirements of Reps. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, in the 1st District, and Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, in the 10th District.
Here are our endorsements for Congress:
10th District (Macomb and St. Clair counties) Candice Miller was a fierce advocate for her district, fighting to protect its important water resources, defense contracts and agricultural base. The district needs a replacement who will do the same. We believe Paul Mitchell, the Republican, is best suited to step into Miller’s shoes. The businessman has strong conservative values and a commitment to getting government out of the way of small businesses, the backbone of the American economy. His Democratic opponent, state Rep. Frank Accavetti Jr., has a solid record in the Legislature.
1st District (northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula) The contest in the largest by size district in Michigan centers on which candidate is the biggest carpetbagger. The truth is that neither Democrat Lon Johnson or Republican Jack Bergman are as deeply rooted in northern Michigan as we’d like. Bergman, a retired Marine general, has had Michigan as his legal residence for nearly 20 years, but only recently began living here full-time. Johnson, the former state Democratic chair, has been a recent resident of Detroit. Still, we feel Lon Johnson is best capable of representing the diverse district. He is intelligent and energetic. And he pledges to stand up to any attempt by his party to restrict the 2nd Amendment. It would be useful to have more Democrats on the right side of that issue.
7th District (stretches from Monroe to Coldwater) Trade has become the driving issue in this hotly contested race. Incumbent Republican Rep. Tim Walberg is under intense attack from his Democratic challenger, former Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell, for supporting free trade pacts. Vigorous trade is essential to Michigan’s economy, and it is distressing to see both Republicans and Democrats make trade an economic bogeyman. Tim Walberg has grown into a responsible congressman, and should be returned.
8th District (Oakland and Livingston counties) The only other race that appears competitive this year is between Republican incumbent Mike Bishop and Suzanna Shkreli, a 29-year-old assistant Macomb County prosecutor who entered the race when actress Melissa Gilbert dropped out after winning the Democratic primary. Mike Bishop has been impressive in his freshman term, learning the ropes in Washington, as well as the issues. He should be returned.
The other incumbents, Republicans Bill Huizenga in the 2nd District, Justin Amash in the 3rd District, John Moolenaar in the 4th District, Fred Upton in the 6th District, David Trott in the 11th District and Democrats Dan Kildee in the 5th District, Sander Levin in the 9th District, Debbie Dingell in the 12th District, and Brenda Lawrence in the 14th District are meeting the needs of their constituents and should be re-elected.
The exception is in the 13th District, where longtime Detroit Democrat John Conyers, 87, is making an ill-advised bid for a 26th term. Conyers no longer has the physical and mental capacity to give this district the representation it needs in Congress. It is clear he will not leave of his own accord. Voters should bid him farewell by electing Republican Jeff Gorman of Garden City, a retired Navy pilot who advocates downsizing and simplifying the federal government.