Tlaib Running for New Detroit-Area Seat After Redistricting

LANSING, Mich. (Reuters) -

Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib announced Wednesday she will seek re-election in a new Detroit-area seat created through redistricting, hours after fellow Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence said she will retire from Congress rather than run in the district.

The new 12th District — a Democratic stronghold — includes portions of Detroit and suburbs including Dearborn and Southfield. Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, said the seat has nearly two-thirds of people she currently represents.

The move leaves open the new 13th District, another Democratic seat that includes much of Detroit along with other areas of Wayne County. Declared candidates so far include Democratic state Rep. Shri Thanedar and former state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, a Democrat who is now on the Detroit school board.

“I am excited about the opportunity to expand our work to include more communities that want the same access to a better quality of life, including clean air and water, affordable housing, economic justice and more,” Tlaib, who is in her second term, said in a statement.

Michigan lost a seat following the census, dropping to 13.

Lawrence, the state’s lone Black member of Congress, announced Tuesday night that she would not seek a fifth term. She said redistricting did not factor into her decision, though it was believed she was unhappy with the map.

Black Democratic officials and current and former African American state legislators from Detroit are among those suing to block the congressional and legislative maps drawn by a new independent commission, contending they weaken the ability of Black voters to elect people of color. The pending lawsuit, announced this week, was expected to be filed in the Michigan Supreme Court late Wednesday.