Thursday morning, the Detroit Regional Chamber's political action committee (Chamber PAC) issued its endorsements for candidates running for federal, state, and county offices in the August 5 primary in Michigan.
The organization based its recommendations on responses to a survey, input from committee members and personal interviews with leading candidates interested in the Detroit Chamber’s endorsement to determine the candidates’ stances on business issues and their potential to represent the regional business community.
Chamber PAC endorsed a bipartisan group of candidates, with Democrat Gary Peters earning the organization's nod for Michigan's open U.S. Senate seat, the highest office that earned the Chamber's endorsement this morning.
“Congressman Peters has a proven track record of bipartisan leadership that is focused on solutions instead of partisan bickering. His support for immigration reform, increased infrastructure investment and his work with Governor Snyder on the New International Trade Crossing will translate well as he moves from the House to the Senate,” said Brad Williams, vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber, in the press release announcing the endorsements.
Peters responded on his Facebook page, "I am humbled to have the support of the Detroit Regional Chamber, which represents the businesses and innovators that make our state a leader in the country and in the world. I will continue to work to make Michigan a strategic hub in transportation, logistics, innovation and trade."
Of Peters' Republican opponent, Williams said, “We are grateful for the willingness of Secretary Land to serve our country and state at this important time. She was an effective Secretary of State whom we often supported and we look forward to working with her again in the future.”
The Detroit Chamber had already endorsed Republican Governor Rick Snyder for re-election in February.
In the Twelfth Congressional District, which includes Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and the rest of eastern Washtenaw County, Wayne State University Governor Debbie Dingell earned the Detroit Chamber's endorsement.
“No one has left Congress with a bigger legacy than Congressman John Dingell, and we can think of no one better to continue his legacy of service than Debbie Dingell,” said Williams in the Detroit Regional Chamber's press release. “As a long-serving member of the Detroit Regional Chamber Board of Directors, Mrs. Dingell keenly understands the needs of the business community in our region and is already a leader in Washington.”
Debbie Dingell replied on her Facebook page, "It was an honor to learn of the Detroit Regional Chamber endorsement today. It is vital for Michigan that we expand our manufacturing base while diversifying our state’s economy and helping small businesses have greater opportunity. If elected to Congress, I will work closely with both business and labor to develop comprehensive policies to move our region forward. I know the Chamber does much hard work in this arena and am very gratified in their support of me."
Chamber PAC also endorsed four incumbents running for re-election to the Michigan legislature in districts representing Washtenaw County, including candidates in both state senate districts serving the county.
Democratic incumbent Rebekah Warren, who represents eastern Washtenaw County, earned the Detroit Chamber's endorsement for Senate District 18, while Republican incumbent Joe Hune, whose district has been redrawn to including western and northern Washtenaw County, gained Chamber PAC's support for Senate District 22.
Democratic incumbents David Rutledge, representing District 54, which includes Ypsilanti and the surrounding areas, and Adam Zemke, who represents District 55, which extends from the townships surrounding Ann Arbor south to Milan, both received endorsements.
“The Chamber has a proud tradition of supporting legislators of both parties who are focused on results for the entire state and not just one region. These candidates represent those values,” said Williams in the press release.