Under new MI political maps, U.S. House incumbents Levin and Stevens will compete for same seat
Michigan’s new political maps have created an unusual situation. Two sitting members of Congress, in the same party, will be competing for the same seat in the U.S. House. Representatives Andy Levin and Haley Stevens recently announced they’ll run against each other in the August primary for the newly drawn 11th district.
Reporter Mark Cavitt wrote about the district changes and the upcoming primary race for The Oakland Press. He joined Michigan Radio Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to talk about the district changes and the upcoming race.
Stevens (D-Waterford Twp.) represents the old 11th district. Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) represents the 9th. The new 11th district creates major changes for both of them. Stevens would retain 46% of her constituents in the new district. Levin would keep just 26%.
"Seventy one percent of [Levin's] current constituents are actually in the new 10th. But he did decide to run in his home district. He's from Bloomfield Township. Representative Stevens grew up in Rochester Hills, went to high school in Birmingham, so they both decided to stay home, stay close to their roots there in the new 11th," Cavitt said.
Every 10 years, political lines are redrawn based on the latest census data. In the latest count, Michigan lost population and lost one seat in the U.S. House, starting next term. That reduction takes Michigan's house membership from 14 to 13. Members of a state's congressional delegation, especially members of the same party, often work together very closely.
"Representative Levin did tell me it's unfortunate. Congresswoman Stevens is someone who he's supported in the past for both of her campaigns. They both support many of the same issues. [Levin] did say that she is a good friend and but, you know, elections are elections," Cavitt said. "He was hoping it wouldn't happen in his district, having to run against incumbent."
Stevens told Cavitt that she was surprised by Levin's decision to run in 11th rather than the new 10th, saying she couldn't imagine walking away from such a high number of her current constituents.
On Monday, Republican businessman John James announced he would be running in the newly created 10th district, which is a seat without an incumbent. James ran for the U.S. Senate in 2018 and 2020 and lost both times.
As for the August primary between Stevens and Levin in the new 11th, Cavitt said both candidates are already out courting voters.
"All of southeast Oakland County would be new for Congresswoman Stevens. For Congressman Levin, Pontiac would be a new community. Both have been campaigning in Pontiac for the past week, getting to know residents. So, each have their work cut out for them. It's going to be a tight race," he said.
Editor's note: Quotes in this story have been edited for length and clarity. You can listen to the full interview near the top of this page.
"New Congressional lines force Democrats Levin and Stevens to face off in 11th" by Mark Cavitt for The Oakland Press