Gary McDowell Back to Face Dan Benishek in 2012

Posted September 14, 2011 at 8:16pm

Former state Rep. Gary McDowell (D-Mich.) wants a rematch with freshman Rep. Dan Benishek (R) in the Upper Peninsula region’s 1st district.

McDowell announced Wednesday that he’s seeking the seat again after losing to Benishek by 11 points last November.

“Congressman Benishek went to Washington and just forgot about Northern Michigan and the UP,” McDowell said in a statement from his campaign. “And that’s the problem — nobody is doing what’s right for the country or looking out for people who have to work for a living here in Northern Michigan.”

Michigan Republicans passed a new Congressional map earlier this year that made the 1st district slightly safer for Benishek. The new district was shifted to the western part of the state but still covers the large northern territory along Michigan’s Great Lakes coastline.

The district leans Republican; however, former Rep. Bart Stupak (D) easily held on to the seat for nine terms.