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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

Bankole: Don’t apply racial test in congressional race

March 14, 2018
In The News

Jonathan Kinloch, chairman of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party, says it is important that a qualified African-American replaces retired U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr., who was forced out of office because of allegations of sexual misconduct. Why? Because Westland Mayor Bill Wild, the only Caucasian in a field of roughly 10 candidates seeking to succeed Conyers, could potentially clinch the Democratic nomination easily if the other candidates in the race split the votes. If that happens, a seat once held by a civil rights icon like Conyers would go to a non-Detroiter. Kinloch, speaking on behalf of a group of community stakeholders, told me that is why the group recently endorsed Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones as its consensus candidate. “You have a seat that was primarily held for decades by Congressman Conyers, a civil rights icon who fought hard for the issues that affected black people. It is very important that the next member of Congress is an African-American who comes from Detroit,” Kinloch said in an interview Tuesday. “Moreso when you look at the entire Michigan delegation to Congress, we have only two African-Americans before Conyers stepped down. Now we only have one and that is Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence.”