U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) will serve as the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee next term. That’s the upper chamber’s principal oversight committee.
Peters, a freshman who succeeded U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Detroit) when he retired in 2014, is up for re-election in 2020. The GOP is expected to put up a strong challenge.
Republican John James, a military veteran who gave Michigan’s senior U.S. senator, Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing), a tougher-than-expected fight in 2018, could run again next cycle. President Trump was reportedly considering James as United Nations ambassador, but ultimately didn’t pick him.
Peters, a former congressman, also could face competition in the Democratic primary from his left. Filmmakers Nick Hayes and Naomi Burton, who are members of the Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists for America, did a video for U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). They told the Detroit Metro Times in June that they were next “coming for” Democrats like Peters who “take corporate dollars.”
U.S. Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, could be a potential progressive challenger. Abdul El-Sayed, who was endorsed by Ocasio-Cortez and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for his unsuccessful 2018 gubernatorial bid, told the Atlantic he’s informed Peters he won’t primary him.
Peters previously served as ranking member of the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management within the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
“The committee plays a vital role in our nation’s security, and as Ranking Member I will work to promote the safety and security of all communities,” said Peters in a statement. “Our country faces a number of challenges, whether it is securing our Northern and Southern borders, combatting cutting-edge threats like cyber attacks or ensuring local communities have the resources they need to respond to emergencies. I look forward to working with Senator Johnson and our colleagues to address these serious challenges and ensure that the communities our constituents call home are great places to live, work and raise a family.”
Peters currently serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the Joint Economic Committee.