First-term congresswoman Rashida Tlaib will start defending her time in office beginning with a contested primary on Tuesday, The Hill reports.
One of four progressive women lawmakers, known as the “squad,” the Michigan lawmaker is being challenged by former Rep. Brenda Jones.
Jones, a well-known political leader in Detroit, currently serves as the president of the city council, in the 13th District primary.
This isn’t the first time the politicians have squared off in an election.
Jones defeated Tlaib in the special election to fill the remainder of the term of late Rep. John Conyers in 2018, after he resigned following sexual misconduct allegations.
Then, in a six-way primary to fill the position in 2019, Tlaib took home the win.
“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,” Adrian Hemond, a Michigan-based Democratic strategist told The Hill of Jones. “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."
Tlaib has outraised Jones $2.9 million to $140,000, according to campaign finance records. Recent polling indicated Tlaib has the lead over Jones.
"We’re not leaving any stone unturned,” Tlaib’s campaign communications director Denzel McCampell told The Hill.
Tlaib’s campaign is using her time in office to show what she can accomplish. Tlaib’s campaign highlights her work to help authorize $22.5 billion for lead water pipe replacements as a part of an amendment to the House Moving Forward Act. The act is geared toward helping Americans get access to clean water.
"Rashida Tlaib is seen as a hero in Michigan and nationally,” said Adam Green, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Committee (PCCC), which has endorsed Tlaib. “That means her voters are immensely enthusiastic, which is the ballgame in this vote-by-mail world and pandemic era when people are struggling and have many other things going on in their lives."
What Tlaib has focused on while in office is what Jones’s campaign is attacking. According to The Hill, her opponent has accused her of being too-Washington focused and has called out the Squad's ongoing battle against the president.
“Fulfilling the needs of the community, the district, is what people are interested in,” said Marvin Beatty, a member of Jones’s campaign leadership team. “Not necessarily calling out the president, who should be called out, but not at the expense of a local community.”
Jones has campaigned on a number of local issues, including providing greater access to affordable health care, internet access and education.
“[Jones has focused on] how this district can really modify, change its economic circumstance,” Beatty said.
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