Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is facing a formidable challenge from former Rep. Brenda Jones (D-Mich.) in Tuesday's primary, putting the political future of the progressive first-term congresswoman in the balance.
Tlaib gained national name recognition in 2019 when she became a member of the “squad,” four progressive congresswomen, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N. Y.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who were elected in 2018.
She notably made headlines when she called for Trump’s impeachment after being sworn in, telling supporters “we’re gonna impeach the motherf----er.”
Tlaib now faces a serious challenge from Jones, a well-known leader in Detroit currently serving as the president of the City Council, in the 13th District primary.
Jones narrowly defeated Tlaib in the special election to fill the remainder of the term of the late Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) in 2018, after the long-term congressman resigned following sexual misconduct allegations.
However, Tlaib pulled off a win in the six-way primary to replace Conyers and Jones when the new term was due to start in 2019, in a race that took place on the same day as the special election.
“It’s the Conyers district. Notwithstanding how his career ended, the man’s a civil rights hero. That’s certainly an advantage for Brenda Jones in this race,” said Adrian Hemond, a Michigan-based Democratic strategist, regarding Jones, who's African American.
“It’s a majority African American city. It’s a majority African American congressional district, and to the extent that those voters are interested in symbolic representation, that’s not Rep. Tlaib."
Recent polling shows Tlaib with a significant edge over Jones. A Target-Insight survey released earlier this month showed Tlaib with 52 percent support, while Jones trailed at 24 percent support. However, 23 percent of respondents said they were undecided.
Tlaib raised $777,000 during the second quarter, bringing her fundraising total to $2.9 million. Jones raised $98,000 during the same period, bringing her total to $140,000.
However, Jones was outspent by Tlaib and still narrowly defeated her in the special election to fill Conyers's term, making it likely the primary on Tuesday will be competitive.
"We’re not leaving any stone unturned,” said Denzel McCampell, Tlaib’s campaign communications director.
Jones has longstanding political connections within the district, as well as in Detroit’s Black community.
Jones also touts a long list of Detroit-area endorsements, including a number of City Council members and several prominent Black ministers, including Second Ebenezer Church’s Bishop Edgar Vann.
“We certainly don’t have the same kind of dollars to match Ms. Tlaib’s bankroll,” said Marvin Beatty, a member of Jones’s campaign leadership team.
“But our dollars come from the community, from southeast Michigan,” he continued, adding that the polling of the district may not be completely reflective of the area’s large Black population.
Jones’s campaign has hit Tlaib for being too Washington-focused, pointing to a number of public verbal conflicts playing out between her and President TrumpDonal... (Read more)
Submitted 59 days ago