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"Dean of the House" Conyers sails toward 27th term

Detroit Congressman John Conyers.
Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio
Detroit Congressman John Conyers.

It appears John Conyers will return to Congress for the 27th time.

The Detroit Democrat is the longest-serving member of Congress. A civil rights icon known for championing traditional progressive causes, he was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1964.

Despite growing calls for Conyers to step aside for a younger successor, the 87-year-old says he’s just not thinking about that.

“I go on because I still like it. I’m able to help so many people, that it keeps me going,” he said.

“I don’t think about that [retiring]. I think about winning this election. Then I think about making sure that Hillary Clinton wins her election in November.”

Conyers warned that Clinton faces “a very big challenge” if elected president.

He admitted to feeling blindsided by Donald Trump’s political success, but said it speaks to an important truth about many voters right now.

“They are not only angry, but they’re fearful. And a guy like Trump satisfies them,” Conyers said. “No matter how many mistakes he makes, they don’t care.”

As the winner of the Democratic primary, Conyers is virtually assured a general election win in the heavily Democratic 13th District.

He defeated Detroit city clerk Janice Winfrey, winning just over 60% of the vote.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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