Updated, 1:43 p.m., 1/13/19, with comments from Lavora Barnes
Tim Kelly, a former Republican state lawmaker, announced he is challenging U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) to represent Michigan’s 5th Congressional District.
Kelly, who served six years in the state Legislature and was chair of the House Education Committee, lost his nomination to fill a federal education post under Secretary Betsy DeVos in November 2017. The President Trump administration pulled his nomination after blog posts he authored, which had offensive statements about Muslims, women in science and Head Start parents, were uncovered.
Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes noted the incident in a statement.*
“If Tim Kelly’s is too bigoted for Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration, he’s too bigoted for Congress. I’m confident that this November the voters of Michigan’s Fifth Congressional District will reject his message of hate and re-elect Congressman Kildee who has been a tireless fighter for Michigan’s working families, standing up for clean water, good jobs and affordable health care.”*
The former state representative is giving it another go at joining the federal ranks as he works to unseat Kildee in 2020.
The Kildee family has been representing the congressional district, now made up of Flint, Saginaw and Bay City, since 1977. Former U.S. Rep Dale Kildee held the seat for 18 consecutive terms until his nephew, Dan Kildee, took over the Democratic-leaning district in 2013. That’s something Kelly noted to Michigan Radio.
“It’s time that the voters of the 5th District had another choice than one from a family that’s … reigned over the district for the last 43 years,” Kelly said.