Dems Gear Up To Challenge Congressman Fred Upton

Aug 8, 2018

Andy Davis watches returns at Matt Longjohn's election night party
Credit Andrew Robins / WMUK-FM

The Democratic race in Michigan's Sixth Congressional District looks a lot different now than it did in 1992. Tuesday night, Matt Longjohn defeated three other primary candidates and will face long-time Republican Congressman Fred Upton in November. But there was no primary contest in 1992 because only one Democrat ran: Andy Davis.

Davis says Democrats have a chance to take the GOP- leaning district this fall. He points to the enthusiasm he saw at the state Democratic convention in 2017.

"And that reflected both a re-energized party, looking back to its base and its mission, and a reflection of the abhorrence and fear that we have about where this country is heading under a Trump administration."

Davis supported Longjohn in the primary. He filed a challenge that led to the state removing Paul Clements from the Democratic ballot earlier this year. Davis says Democrats may face an uphill battle in the Sixth District that includes six counties in southwest Michigan. But he says they can win this fall.

"I agree completely that the Sixth Congressional District has always been Republican-leaning. I think the thing Democrats could do is to appeal to Republicans who feel abandoned by their own party."

Davis says Democrats can do that by emphasizing belief in the institutions of government and in fairness - things Davis says the GOP used to support.

"This Republican Party that's having its way at the national level right now is undermining all of those basic, fundamental beliefs that we all as Americans hold and that the Republican Party has had as its fundamentals. And if the Democratic Party looks at them and says, 'Look, here we are. We're standing for the things you've always believed in. Come join us and let's show these people the door.'"

Davis challenged Upton in 1992 after no other Democrats filed to enter the race. At the time Davis said he didn't believe that any member of Congress should run unopposed.

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