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Stateside Podcast: Race, class, and representation in the 13th Congressional District

Detroit Skyline in the background with the Detroit River in the foreground
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
A congressional seat in the state's 13th District, which covers a large swath of Detroit, is up for grabs in the 2022 election.

New political maps, the retirement of Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, and current 13th District Rep. Rashida Tlaib's announcement that she’s moving to a neighboring district have left Detroit with a rare opportunity: a wide open congressional seat.

Speculation over who will jump in the race, and who has the best shot, is running wild. Some had thought Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist might throw his name in, but he's confirmed he has no plans to run for Congress.

There are a few folks already in the hunt, and more expected to jump in in the coming days and weeks. Whoever ends up in the ring, it’s gonna be a fight. 

“You know the sort of normal activist, parties, and machinery that allows for people to come to and get endorsed and get people out on the doors, all of that is in flux," said longtime Detroit political strategist and and public relations specialist Greg Bowens. "Which means you’re going to have to rely more on dollars to reach people than you’ve ever had to do before.”

Stateside talked to Bowens and Branden Snyder, executive director of the progressive group Detroit Action, about what’s at stake with Michigan’s 13th district—and what it means to represent a city with a majority Black population.

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Stateside’s theme music is by 14KT.

Additional music byBlue Dot Sessions.

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April Van Buren is a producer for <i>Stateside</i>. She produces interviews for air as well as web and social media content for the show.