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Published: Wednesday, 6/12/2002

Fields set for Michigan congressional primaries


LANSING - Several congressional incumbents will face primary challenges in the state's 15 new congressional districts.

That includes a matchup between two Democratic incumbents: U.S. Rep. John Dingell of Dearborn and U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers of Ann Arbor. The two are facing off in the new 15th District.

Most candidates for other Aug. 6 primary races had to file by May 14, but the filing date was pushed back to yesterday for congressional candidates so a federal court could hear a Democratic challenge to the Republican-drawn redistricting plan.

The court upheld the GOP-drawn map on June 5.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton of St. Joseph will face state Sen. Dale Shugars of Portage and Gloria Krueger Ham of Kalamazoo in the GOP primary for the 6th District.

U.S. Rep. Sander Levin of Royal Oak will have a three-way Democratic primary race in the 12th District. Running against him are state Rep. Bill Callahan of St. Clair Shores and Mario Fundarski of Roseville. Mr. Fundarski ran for Congress two years ago under the name Mario Fundaro.

Republicans will have their own primary in the 12th District. Running for the seat are Harvey Dean of Warren, Charles Frangie of Clinton Township, and Jamie Morgan of Ferndale.

U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg of Bloomfield Hills is another incumbent who faces a primary challenge. Bart Baron of Troy is running against Mr. Knollenberg for the GOP 9th District nomination.

In the 1st District, the GOP primary will pit Don Birgel of Gladwin against Don Hooper of Iron River. In the 11th District, the GOP primary will feature David Hagerty of Canton against state Sen. Thaddeus McCotter of Livonia.

All but two of Michigan's incumbent congressional members are running for re-election.

Democratic Rep. David Bonior of Mount Clemens chose to run for governor rather than re-election, while Democratic U.S. Rep. James Barcia of Bay City chose to run for the state Senate. The GOP-drawn map had put Mr. Bonior and Mr. Levin in the same district, and Mr. Barcia and U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee together in another.

Only Democratic U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Detroit has no primary or general election opposition in her 13th District re-election bid. No incumbent is running in the 10th or 11th districts.

The new congressional lines were drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislature to account for shifting populations and the loss of one seat. Political experts say the new configuration could change Michigan's congressional delegation from a 9-7 Democratic majority to a 9-6 Republican majority.

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