You would have thought that the Republican Party kidnapped Debbie Dingell’s firstborn, considering how the wife of U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) unloaded on the GOP at a rally in Wyandotte’s Bishop Park last Saturday.
“What the Republicans did is wrong,” shrieked Dingell. “They divided the Downrivers.”
Appropriately clad in red pants, shoes and purse, Dingell was talking about how Michigan’s Republican-dominated Legislature redrew voting districts, forcing her husband, who has represented all of Downriver for nearly all his 47 years in office, to run against Democratic U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-Ann Arbor), who has been in office for four terms. The loser of that heated race will be out of a job.
With a decrease in population, Michigan lost a seat in the House of Representatives, and Republicans redrew the districts to ensure that the Democrats took the hit. Rivers and Dingell are battling for the new 15th District, which includes parts of Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Downriver and all of Monroe County. Wyandotte — part of Dingell’s old district — is now the turf of Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, who is running unopposed.
Debbie Dingell, whose husband wasn’t at the rally — which was attended by gubernatorial candidate David Bonior and Wayne County Exec candidate Robert Ficano — assured the crowd that Cheeks Kilpatrick “is one of the most decent women you’ll ever meet.” Cheeks Kilpatrick promised the 100 or so folks experience “and a mayor just up the road,” referring to her son, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. The crowd laughed, then cheered — vigorously — when Dingell implored voters to make Republicans “pay” for what they have done to Downriver. Not to mention her husband.Ann Mullen is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail [email protected]