U.S. Rep. Andy Levin and U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens are running in a Democratic primary for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District on August 2, 2022. This race is one of several incumbent-vs.-incumbent primaries occurring for the U.S. House in 2022 as a result of congressional redistricting.
Michigan lost one congressional district following the 2020 census, and when the lines were redrawn, the new 11th district included areas represented by multiple Democratic incumbents. According to data from Daily Kos, the new 11th district contains about 45% of the old 11th district, which Stevens has represented in Congress since 2019. The new 11th contains about 25% of the old 9th district, which Levin has represented in Congress since 2019.
Levin’s campaign website says of the new 11th district that Levin’s “roots in Oakland County, Michigan, go back well over 100 years” and that his father Sandy Levin (D) represented parts of the new 11th in the old 9th district from 1983 to 2019. When asked why he decided to run for election in the new 11th district instead of the new 9th, Levin says, “I’m running where I live, and I’m very happy about that decision, no regrets.”
Levin serves on the Education and Labor and Foreign Affairs committees in the 117th Congress. He is also a member of the Progressive caucus. Levin’s campaign says he has a progressive record in Congress, citing his co-sponsorship of bills to implement the Green New Deal and Medicare for All and his endorsements from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Levin also emphasizes his background on the campaign trail, saying of his former job as a union organizer for the national AFL-CIO and SEIU, “It’s my life. I’m the union organizer in Congress.”
Stevens serves on the Education and Labor and Science, Space & Technology committees in the 117th Congress. She helped launch the Women in STEM Caucus in 2020, which says that its goal is to support and increase the number of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Prior to her election to Congress in 2018, Stevens served as the chief of staff for the U.S. Auto Rescue Task Force under former President Barack Obama (D).
Stevens has called the incumbent-vs.-incumbent primary unfortunate, saying, “No one asked for this…In ten months, we are not going to be colleagues and that is not good. That is not good for Michigan. That’s not good for the Democratic Party. It’s not good for the country.” Stevens responded to Levin’s statements about his progressive record by criticizing his positions on abortion and Israel.
Citing her endorsements from Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List, Stevens said she is a voice for women in Congress and unequivocally supports a woman’s right to choose. When Levin argued in a primary debate that he has taken more action on this issue in Congress, Stevens said, “Was that just the sound of another 60-something year-old white man telling me how to talk about choice? I think my position is clear.”
Stevens said she is “proud to unequivocally support the Jewish state” and criticized Levin’s comments on the treatment of Palestinians, as well as his Two State Solutions Act in Congress. Levin has described himself as “perhaps the leading Jewish member of Congress to try to actually take action to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution.” The American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Democratic Majority for Israel PAC disagree with Levin’s positions and endorsed Stevens. The Times of Israel has referred to this Democratic primary as a “bellwether of American Jewish politics,” explaining that “The new 11th District is believed to include about 40,000 of the 70,000 Jews living in the Detroit area.”