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Democrat Gretchen Driskell to try a third time to unseat Tim Walberg in 7th Congressional District

Gretchen Driskell
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Former Saline MayorGretchen Driskell announced her candidacy Wednesday for the United States House of Representatives, seeking to represent Michigan’s 7th Congressional District.

It's the third time Driskell has run against incumbant Republican Congressman Tim Walberg, now in his sixth term of office in the U.S. House.

In 2016, Walberg won 55.1% to Driskell's 40% (with Libertarian Ken Proctor garnering 4.9% of the votes. ) 

In 2018, Walberg's margin of victory over Driskell was narrower, 53.8% to 46.2%.

Driskell issued a press release explaining why she is running:

I’m running for Congress because Michiganders know that Washington is broken and we need someone who will work for us. Here in Michigan we have been sending the same representatives to Congress and things are getting worse for most people in our community. After 27 years in office, Congressman Walberg is part of the problem. He spends his time playing political games and bickering, not working to solve our problems. As a nonpartisan mayor, I had to balance the budget, make tough decisions, and deliver results for people in our community. I didn’t know people’s political party, nor did I care. We just got things done together. If elected to Congress I will bring that same leadership to Washington and start getting things done for all of us, here in Michigan.”

Driskell's statement says if elected, she would focus on creating higher-wage jobs, affordable and accessible health care, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and ensuring a secure and dignified retirement.

Driskell was the first female mayor of Saline and the longest-serving mayor of Saline before representing the 52nd District in the Michigan State House. 

Tim Walberg
Credit US House of Representative
U.S. Congressman Tim Walberg

Prior to his time in public office, Walberg served as a pastor in Michigan and Indiana, as president of the Warren Reuther Center for Education and Community Impact, and as a division manager for Moody Bible Institute.

He also served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1983 to 1999.  

Walberg spokesman Dan Kotman issued this statement:

"It appears perennial candidate Gretchen Driskell is not satisfied with wasting millions and losing big twice, but first she must defend her failed record in the Democratic primary. While Driskell's party continues their political impeachment hearings, Congressman Walberg is focused on bipartisan solutions to grow good-paying jobs, protect the Great Lakes, and bring down the cost of prescription drugs." 

Michigan’s 7th District encompasses Branch, Eaton, Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, and Monroe Counties, along with parts of Washtenaw County. 

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Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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