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Detroit city Councilwoman Mary Waters joins race for 13th Congressional District

Detroit Councilwoman at-Large Mary Waters has announced she's joining the Democratic primary race for Michigan’s 13th U.S. House District. Incumbent Shri Thanedar, who is seeking a second term, and Adam Hollier, a former state Senator and current director of Michigan Veterans Affairs, are also in the race.

Waters is one of the two Detroit at-large city councilmembers. Prior to that she served three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2001 to 2006, including a stint as minority floor leader from 2003 to 2006.

She announced her campaign with a news conference in Hamtramck. She was joined by state Representative Karen Whitsett, who said she supports Waters’ candidacy.

Waters spoke on her background, “Hard work has been a way of life for me. Taking on challenges where people tell me what I can't do is something, it's nothing new either.” She touted her experience in the state Legislature and as an organizer for the UAW.

She called for environmental protections, safer communities, and a cease fire in Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza.

“My world peace agenda is rooted in the anti-war philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr. We must free hostages immediately and demand a ceasefire now,” she said. “As a member of Congress, I will work to cut the Pentagon war budget and use those dollars for safe streets in our district by funding community police patrols, and fighting poverty while increasing social security payments for our seniors.”

She also advocated federal action to lower car insurance rates. “I will be one congresswoman car insurers will not want to hear from,” Waters said.

The race for the 2024 Democratic nomination in the 13th District has been intense.

It's a heavily Democratic district, so winning the primary goes a long way toward winning the general election.

Incumbent Shri Thanedar won with 28.3% of the vote in a crowded primary in 2022, and his victory in the general election meant Detroit was without a Black representative in the U.S. House for the first time in almost 70 years. Adam Hollier, who finished second in the 2022 primary, is running again to unseat Thanedar.

Hollier boasts endorsements from several notable politicians including Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, State House Speaker Joe Tate, and former Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence among others.

On her entry into the race, Waters said she’s looking to “get to work right now and shock the world.”

A.J. Jones is a newsroom intern and graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Sources say he owns a dog named Taffy.
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