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Longjohn to face Upton in 6th Congressional District race

A polling location in Brighton, Mich.
Rebecca Williams
Michigan Radio
A polling location in Brighton, Mich.

A Kalamazoo-area physician hopes to do something in November that no other Democrat has: unseat long-time Congressman Fred Upton.

Matt Longjohn easily defeated three other Democrats in Tuesday's primary in Michigan's Sixth Congressional District.

Health care was one of the issues Longjohn emphasized in his campaign. He points to his experience as the YMCA's national health officer.

"For 20 years, what I've been doing is building coalitions that have gotten many things done, including already expanding Medicare," Longjohn said last night. "There's a reason why the Obama White House identified me as one of the top health care innovators in the country, and it wasn't for any other reason than that I had worked with many other people to get things done."

Longjohn will face Fred Upton in November. The Saint Joseph Republican has been in Congress since 1986. Some observers say it would take a major "blue wave" to unseat Upton. But Longjohn says he thinks voters in the district that includes six counties in southwest Michigan are ready for a change.

Vincent Duffy has been news director at Michigan Public since May 2007.