As a result of a controversial new redistricting map, first-term Rep. Hansen Clarke has announced plans to run in a redrawn district that was for decades represented by Rep. John Conyers, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
According to David Bositis, a political analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Clarke, who ousted long-serving Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick in 2010, probably has a better chance of winning the now-whiter district than Conyers because the elder statesman may be too vocally liberal and “out there” for its new voters. Conyers told BET.com earlier this month that he was considering running in the 13th district that Clarke currently represents, but has not yet announced a decision.
"The congressman is weighing all his options and consulting with constituents, labor, clergy and civil rights leaders," Conyers spokesman Isaac Robinson told the Detroit Free Press. "He wants to get as much information as possible before making a decision."
If he does run in the 13th district, he could face several challengers, including state Sen. Bert Johnson, who has already announced plans to run for the seat. Detroit attorney Godfrey Dillard says that he is also considering launching a campaign for the seat. He was one of the attorneys who represented the city when it tried to remove former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick from office during his text message scandal.
"As I see it right now, there's really no leadership in the 13th right now and several people have approached me, and I'm at the stage of my career where if things work out and I'm about to get some support that I would seriously consider doing it," Dillard told The Detroit News. "I think I have the skills for it, the international background, the lawyer background, policy making experience in Washington, D.C. I'm at the age now where I think I can be very beneficial to the 13th district."
(Photo: Official Government Portrait)