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There Could Be Two Different Democratic Successors for Conyers’ Seat

Tlaib won the primary for the new term, while Jones won the special election primary

Rashida Tlaib isn’t the only Democrat with a claim on Conyers’ old seat. (Courtesy Rashida Tlaib)
Rashida Tlaib isn’t the only Democrat with a claim on Conyers’ old seat. (Courtesy Rashida Tlaib)

After winning the Democratic nomination Tuesday night in Michigan’s 13th District — a safe Democratic seat — former Michigan state Rep. Rashida Tlaib is set to make history as the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.

But she may not be the next person to hold the open seat, which longtime Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. vacated late last year over allegations of sexual harassment.

Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones won the Democratic nomination in the four-way special primary, which was also held Tuesday.(The special general election will be on Election Day in November.) 

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Jones led Tlaib 38 to 36 percent, according to the Associated Press, which called the race Wednesday evening. That means Jones could serve out the remainder of Conyers’ term, serving for two months until the new Congress is sworn in in January. 

But Jones has not yet said whether she’d want to vacate her city council seat to serve in Congress for just a couple months. 

“We’re reviewing the results of last night’s election and a statement will be forthcoming,” her campaign said in a statement to the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday. 

The regular primary had two more Democratic contestants than the special primary. Tlaib won the six-way primary for the new term with 31 percent of the vote to Jones’ 30 percent, according to the AP. She faces no Republican opponent in what’s already a Solid Democratic seat, according to Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. That means she’s almost certainly coming to Congress in 2019. She just might have a caretaker in the seat before her. 

Watch: What We Learned From the Last Special Election Before November

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