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Michigan: Filing Deadline Arrives With No Surprises

Rep. Tim Walberg (R) will not have a top challenger for his re-election race this November, leaving Democrats with a major recruitment hole in the Michigan map.

Instead, Democrats will focus their efforts on a rerun race between freshman Rep. Dan Benishek (R) and former state Rep. Gary McDowell (D) in the state’s Upper Peninsula.

The Wolverine State’s Congressional races were set today, when the candidate filing period closed at 4 p.m. There were no major surprises among the dozens of petitions, including Walberg’s race. A couple of weeks ago, former GOP Rep. Joe Schwarz declined to challenge Walberg as a Democrat.

Michigan shed a House seat due to population loss, and Republicans led a redraw of the state’s Congressional boundaries last year. As a result, a few Democrats filed to run for re-election in new territory around Detroit.

As expected, Reps. Gary Peters and Hansen Clarke filed to run in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary for the Detroit-based 14th district, a heavily Democratic seat. Republicans dismantled the current districts represented by both Democrats, and they are seeking re-election in this district instead. A third Democrat, Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, also filed for this seat.

Twenty-four term Rep. John Conyers attracted four primary challengers, including two current elected officials in the 13th district, state Sen. Bert Johnson and state sen. Glen Anderson. Conyers also faces a great deal of new territory under the new map.

Former Genesee County Treasurer Dan Kildee was the only Democrat to file for the open 5th district, which means he’ll in all likelihood become a Member of Congress. Kildee’s uncle, Rep. Dale Kildee (D), is retiring from this reliably Democratic seat.

Freshman Rep. Bill Huizenga (R) will avoid a primary battle in western Michigan. A conservative state lawmaker discussed challenging Huizenga but eventually decided against it.

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