Rep. Lawrence endorses Stevens over Levin in closely watched Democratic primary

click to enlarge U.S. Reps. Brenda Lawrence (left) and Haley Stevens. - Congress
U.S. Reps. Brenda Lawrence (left) and Haley Stevens.

U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, the only Black member of Congress from Michigan, is endorsing Rep. Haley Stevens in a closely watched Democratic primary for the newly drawn 11th District.

Rep. Andy Levin is running against Stevens in the battleground district, which includes Farmington Hills, Oak Park, Pontiac, and West Bloomfield Township.

The endorsement could be significant because Lawrence, who is not running for reelection, represents about a third of the population in the new district.

"I feel compelled to endorse the person that I feel has a great work ethic. She shows the compassion that's needed for a multitude of different cultures and ethnic groups," Lawrence told The Detroit News. "She's a person who's constantly seeking knowledge — she's not a know-it-all. She is a person that wants to learn and listen and, to me, that means a lot."

Lawrence is the first member of Congress to endorse a candidate for the 11th District race.

"I know that Haley is not going to be given the seat with my endorsement or not, because Andy is going to work hard, and she knows that," Lawrence said. "She has rolled up her sleeves, and she's going to be formidable. In my expectation, she'll win this race."

Stevens, 38, of Waterford Township, won the 11th District seat in November 2017, defeating Republican Lena Epstein by 6.2 percentage points. The seat was previously held by two-term Republican Dave Trott.

Levin, 61, of Bloomfield Township, has represented the 9th congressional district since 2018, when he succeeded his father, Sander Levin, who retired.

Levin has also racked up some big endorsements. Among them are U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel, who lost against Stevens in the 2018 Democratic primary for the U.S. House.

More than three dozen unions are supporting Levin. They include the Communications Workers of America, the Service Employees International Union, Utility Workers of America (AFL-CIO), the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers.

"I have great respect for Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence," Levin said in a statement. "I look forward to earning the support of voters throughout the new district, including those Brenda has represented."

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