Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence will not seek 2022 reelection

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Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence will not seek 2022 reelection

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) announced late Tuesday that she would not seek reelection in November, becoming the 25th Democrat to decline to contest their House seat in this year’s midterms. 

Multiple reports indicated that Lawrence was unhappy with the outcome of Michigan’s redistricting process, which changed her district boundaries to incorporate more suburban areas rather than downtown Detroit. Democratic sources told Politico that Lawrence had privately complained to colleagues that the new congressional map divided majority-black neighborhoods.

In a video posted on Twitter, the 67-year-old Lawrence — the only black member of Michigan’s congressional delegation — noted that 2022 would be her 30th year holding public office. She previously was a school board member, city council member and mayor of the Detroit suburb of Southfield before being elected to Congress in 2014.

“I’ve had the good fortune of serving the people of Michigan, on the local and national levels,” Lawrence said. “Today, after reflecting on my journey – and oh my goodness, what a journey – and having conversations with my family, I am announcing that I will not be seeking reelection to Congress.”

“I am incredibly grateful for the people in Michigan’s 14th Congressional District, who placed their trust and vote in me – in me, just a little black girl from the east side of Detroit,” she added. “You made me your Congresswoman.”

Rep. Brenda Lawrence
Lawrence was previously a school board member, city council member and mayor of the Detroit suburb of Southfield.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

As part of the reshuffle, Lawrence’s hometown was drawn into a district currently represented by Democrat Debbie Dingell, who became emotional in an interview last week as she announced she would move to the university city of Ann Arbor to run in the new 6th District centered there.

“As we have a new redistricting map a new generation of leaders will step up,” Lawrence said Tuesday. “We need to make sure our elected officials in Michigan and across the country look like our communities.”

Lawrence’s retirement announcement came hours after Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) also announced his intention not to run again, citing a desire to spend more time with his family. 

Republicans only need to gain a net of six seats to take back the House majority and most polls indicate they are favored to pick up the necessary wins.

In total, 17 of the 25 House Democrats not running for reelection are retiring from public life, while four are running for the US Senate and four others are running for other offices.

Other prominent Democrats to announce their retirement in recent weeks include Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Jackie Speier of California, Stephanie Murphy of Florida and Albio Sires of New Jersey.

So far, 12 House Republicans have announced they are also not seeking another two-year term.

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