Democrats, Michigan Democrats — October 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Jocelyn Benson considers run for Kerry Bentivolio’s U.S. Congressional seat


Democrats may soon have a strong candidate to get behind so they can take back Michigan’s 11th Congressional District.

Democrats have been looking for someone to run for Rep. Kerry Bentivolio’s seat in the U.S. House in 2014 — and they may have found her.

Jocelyn Benson, Dean of the Wayne State University Law School and the Democratic Party’s nominee for Michigan Secretary of State in 2010, attended Wednesday’s House Democratic Caucus meeting and told attendees she’s considering running for the seat. According to Roll Call, this information came from two Democratic sources.

One of the sources said that House Democrats tried to recruit Benson in the past, but the government shutdown is a source of motivation for her run.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Benson also met with Democratic leadership in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer.

Rep. Bentivolio already has a Republican primary challenger, David Trott, and is way behind in fundraising, with only $59,000 in his coffers to date.

His reputation as “Krazy Kerry” hasn’t helped, especially considering that the Tea Party Republican caucus he’s part of is largely responsible for the government shutdown and debt ceiling debacle. Rep. Bentivolio has spent much of his time in Congress fighting against Obamacare and President Obama, gaining national attention for the dubious distinction of saying that impeaching President Obama would be “a dream come true” … if only he could find a good reason.

Benson would bring sanity back to Michigan’s 11th Congressional District. A faculty member at Wayne State University since 2005, she’s the co-founder and President of the Board of the Military Spouses of Michigan, which helps Michigan military spouses, partners and family members build a network of support and services for each other.

She’s also part of the Michigan Transparency Coalition — citizens who support an amendment to Michigan’s constitution that would require instant disclosure of all money in our political process. In addition, Benson is the Chair of the Board of Advisors for the Michigan Allies Projects (MAP) at the Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University. The project tracks and maps hate crimes and bias incidents in Michigan, publishes online reports documenting incidents at colleges and schools, and helps launch innovative civil lawsuits and advocate for victims of bigotry and discrimination.

You can learn more about Benson and her active engagement in issues important to Michigan and its citizens at her website.

The Detroit Free Press says calls to Benson for comment have gone unreturned so far. But this looks very promising to me. Here’s hoping Benson commits to running soon. She’ll have a flood of support from Michigan Democrats, myself included.

We’ll keep you posted as the story develops.

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