In the battleground House race that is catching the eye of national Democrats, Carl Marlinga has announced that he will be challenging Republican U.S. Rep. John James once again for the seat. Marlinga’s campaign, which was announced in a news release provided to The Associated Press, comes after he lost to James last year by a mere half a percentage point. James had a significant fundraising advantage, which likely played a role in his victory.
Marlinga is eager to seek a rematch with James in Michigan’s 10th Congressional District, a suburban area north of Detroit. He hopes to continue the winning streak for Democrats in the state, as they have recently taken control of the governor’s office and both chambers of the Legislature. Although they narrowly missed claiming the 10th District in 2022, Democrats have their sights set on it for the 2024 election as they aim to flip control of the U.S. House, where Republicans currently hold a 10-seat majority.
A former Macomb County judge and prosecutor, Marlinga emerged victorious from a crowded field of four other Democrats last year to secure the party’s nomination. In his statement announcing his campaign, Marlinga emphasized his focus on growing the economy, protecting the Great Lakes, and standing up for abortion rights. He wasted no time in attacking James, accusing him of being “out of step with our community.”
Before facing off against James again, Marlinga must navigate a potentially crowded primary. Already, Diane Young, a financial planner from Macomb County, has secured several endorsements, including one from state Sen. Mallory McMorrow. With the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee firmly setting its sights on the GOP-held seat, the 10th District is one of 31 seats they plan to aggressively target in 2024. Additionally, they will also be working to hold an open seat in Michigan’s 7th District after Elissa Slotkin declared her intention to run for the U.S. Senate.
A battleground House race in Michigan that national Democrats are keying in on to help them flip the chamber in 2024 is growing increasingly crowded. https://t.co/374Q4a79ol
— Local 4 WDIV Detroit (@Local4News) September 7, 2023
Michigan Republicans have been facing challenges in winning both state and congressional races in recent years. Democrats successfully swept the statewide races in 2022, flipped control of the state House and Senate, and won three out of four competitive U.S. House races. Despite ongoing turmoil within the state party, Michigan Republicans are hopeful that a high-profile race for the open U.S. Senate seat will help boost candidates down the ballot in the 2024 election. While Donald Trump won the state in 2016, Joe Biden secured victory there in 2020 by a margin of nearly 3%.
James, who has long been considered a rising star in the Republican Party, was initially seen as a strong contender for the open U.S. Senate seat in Michigan. However, he surprised many when he announced in February that he would run for the House again. Over the years, the 42-year-old Republican has struggled to win elections in a state that has been leaning more and more towards the Democratic Party. Despite his name recognition and fundraising advantages, James lost Senate races in both 2018 and 2020 before narrowly winning the House race.
It will be interesting to watch how this highly contested House race unfolds, as Democrats and Republicans battle it out for control of Michigan’s 10th Congressional District. With both parties pouring resources into the campaign, it is sure to be a fierce and hotly contested race. Stay tuned for updates on this closely watched race that will undoubtedly have implications for the larger political landscape in 2024.