Michigan: Ex-Knollenberg Aide to Challenge Peters

Posted April 20, 2009 at 6:25pm

A longtime aide to former Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R) announced that he will run for his former boss’ seat in 2010.

Paul Welday, Knollenberg’s chief of staff from 1993 to 2002, will challenge freshman Rep. Gary Peters (D) next year. Peters defeated Knollenberg with 52 percent of the vote last year in the district north of Detroit.

Welday said he ran all of Knollenberg’s successful re-election campaigns. In a brief phone interview, he added that Peters was out of touch with the district.

“Every opportunity that he’s had, he’s voted to increase the size and scope of the federal government,— Welday said.

Welday also confirmed that he had spoken with the National Republican Congressional Committee about his bid.

“They know that Gary Peters is vulnerable and assured me that this is a race of great interest to them,— Welday added.

Peter’s district has increasingly voted for Democrats over the past decade, making Welday’s bid an uphill battle to win back the seat for Republicans. President Barack Obama won the district with 56 percent in 2008.