Former Saline, Michigan mayor and State Representative for the 52nd House District Gretchen Driskell has announced that she will once again try to unseat Trump devotee and far-right extremist Tim Walberg in the race for Michigan’s 7th Congressional District. It will be a tough fight. No Democrat has won it since Mark Schuaer defeated Walberg in 2008 and Republicans made it even more Walberg-friendly when they redrew the Congressional Districts after the 2010 census (ostensibly to draw Schauer’s home out of the district.) It’s actually one of our state’s most heavily gerrymandered districts, spanning from west of Lansing in the middle of the state all the way to Lake Erie on the Ohio-Michigan border near Toledo:
Driskell lost to Walberg in 2016 by 15.1 points in a year when Donald Trump won it by 17 points. In 2018 she lost by 7.6 points. It covers seven different counties and takes nearly two hours to drive from one end to the other. In other words, this is a tough damn district for Democrats and that is 100% intentional.
I have heard from at least six other people who have showed interest in running for this seat as Democrats and only three of them actually live in the 7th so I’m thrilled to see someone with Gretchen’s name recognition and experience with the area running.
Here’s her announcement statement:
DRISKELL ANNOUNCES RUN FOR 7th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Vows to Get Washington to Work for Michigan Again
SALINE – Former Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell announced her candidacy today for the United States House of Representatives, seeking to represent Michigan’s 7th Congressional District.
“I’m running for Congress because Michiganders know that Washington is broken and we need someone who will work for us. Here in Michigan we have been sending the same representatives to Congress and things are getting worse for most people in our community. After 27 years in office, Congressman Walberg is part of the problem. He spends his time playing political games and bickering, not working to solve our problems. As a nonpartisan mayor, I had to balance the budget, make tough decisions, and deliver results for people in our community. I didn’t know people’s political party, nor did I care. We just got things done together. If elected to Congress I will bring that same leadership to Washington and start getting things done for all of us, here in Michigan.”
“We need to get to work creating jobs that pay a decent wage in the town that we grew up in, ensuring accessible and affordable healthcare, lowering the outrageous cost of prescription drugs, and creating a secure and dignified retirement for those who have worked for it. In Michigan we created the modern factory and put the world on wheels, in shops large and small. Over the years, times have gotten a bit harder for us and when we needed Washington most, they have been asleep at the wheel. We need Washington to help us start building again, but we can’t hope to change Washington unless we change the people we send there.”
Driskell was the first female mayor of Saline and the longest-serving mayor of Saline before representing the 52nd District in the Michigan State House. In addition to her 14 years as Saline mayor, Driskell served six years on the Saline city council and built a successful career as a commercial realtor.
The 7th District includes all of Monroe, Lenawee, Hillsdale, Branch, Jackson and Eaton Counties, as well as western Washtenaw County. The seat is currently held by Republican Tim Walberg.
I am heartily endorsing Gretchen in this run. It’s going to be a tough race but, if anyone can do it, it’s Gretchen Driskell.