Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s (D-MI-08) support for the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump has inspired four Republicans to challenge the first-term congresswoman in 2020.
Slotkin represents a swing district that voted for President Trump over Hillary Clinton by almost seven percentage points in 2016, but sent Slotkin to Congress in 2018 in place of incumbent Republican Mike Bishop.
She announced her support of the impeachment inquiry in early October and was booed by constituents at a town hall meeting shortly after. GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel claimed the Republican Party had already raised more than $500,000 to “beat Democrat Elissa Slotkin next November.”
Four Republicans have now lined up to challenge Slotkin for her seat, including Nikki Snyder, a current member of the Michigan State Board of Education.
“One of the biggest things on my radar is essentially reducing the burden of debt, not just from a student perspective, but from a national level,” Snyder said in a statement to the media. “That really attracted me to choose to represent the 8th District.”
In a campaign video, Snyder notes that she’s a single mom and a nurse, framing herself as an advocate for those impacted by “abuse, neglect, and abandonment.”
“I’ll listen, I’ll get and consider all the facts before I make decisions, and I’ll do everything in my power to bring people together,” she says in the video.
Paul Junge, a former TV anchor in Lansing who worked in the Trump administration, also announced his candidacy last week.
“It’s going to take a candidate who can effectively articulate a message, not just to Republican and Democratic voters, but to independent voters,” he said in a statement announcing his campaign. “I am running for Congress to defend the conservative values that make America strong, promote freedom and opportunity, and work with President Trump to stop the radical liberal agenda.”
Junge said Slotkin “campaigned as a moderate” who wasn’t “interested in impeaching the president, and yet the single biggest thing she’s made progress on is urging members of Congress to vote out the president.”
Kristina Lyke, a family law attorney from East Lansing, said her decision to run was a “direct result” of Slotkin’s support of impeachment.
“I want to serve this community that has given me extraordinary opportunities to make differences in the lives of others,” she said when announcing her campaign. “I know the priorities, values, and struggles of the 8th Congressional District because I’ve lived them. Slotkin’s socialist agenda does not advocate for Michiganders’ needs.”
A final candidate, Mike Ditmer, works in the automotive business and said in his announcement that he will “take his common sense, straight forward business approach to Lansing to get things done.”
The Republican primary is scheduled for August 4 of next year.
– – –
Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photos “Nikki Snyder,” “Mike Ditmer,” “Paul Junge,” and “Kristina Lyke” by Nikki Snyder, Paul Junge, Mike Ditmer, and Kristina Lyke.