Politics & Government
10:06 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Endorsements come down in heated Detroit Congressional primaries

An influential, Detroit-based Political Action Committee has made its endorsements for the August primary elections.

The Fannie Lou Hamer PAC is led by the Reverend Wendell Anthony, who also heads the Detroit branch of the NAACP.

Anthony decried the latest round of state and federal re-districting. He said it’s diluted Detroit’s voting power and caused “political havoc” in the city.

“It is most unfortunate that traditional Congressional allies in the halls of Congress, on the Democratic side in particular, to run against each other,” Anthony said. “And for some others to hopefully knock each other out of the race.”

Anthony says that’s particularly obvious when you look at the Congressional races featuring Detroit’s two current Congressmen, John Conyers and Hansen Clarke. Both men received Fannie Lou Hamer’s endorsement.

Both men face strong primary challengers—especially Clarke, who’s running in a four-person field that includes current Oakland County Congressman Gary Peters. Peters has won most major endorsements in that race so far.

Anthony went out of his way to say these endorsements aren’t about “who they’re against,” but rather who they’re for. “We’ve made decisions upon the records, based upon the vision, based upon the passion, based upon the commitment of these individuals that we have selected,” he said.

Anthony acknowledges the PAC charges fees for “services provided” to candidates, such as direct mailing.

But he says endorsements have nothing to do with a candidate’s ability to pay.

The PAC also endorsed State Representative Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, 3rd Circuit Judge candidate Adel Harb,and 8th district state House of Representatives candidate Sherry Gay-Dagnogo.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce also announced its endorsements for Congressional races Tuesday.

The Chamber endorsed Peters, and Conyers’ main rival in the 13th district Democratic primary, State Senator Bert Johnson. The Democrat who wins the August primary is widely expected to win the November general election easily.