For the third time, Brenda Jones and Rashida Tlaib have faced off in an election as the two Democrats vie for a U.S. House seat representing Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. However, based on early returns, Tlaib holds a wide lead, but due to the high number of absentee ballots there are still many votes yet to be counted, and a final result is not likely until later Wednesday.
In 2018, both candidates ran to represent Michigan’s 13th Congressional District in two elections that were held concurrently—the regularly scheduled election for the 2019-2021 term and a special election to fill the seat that was vacated by John Conyers Jr. for the remainder of the 2017-2019 term.
Since she won in 2018, Tlaib has been in the national spotlight as a freshman member of Congress. While Jones, president of the Detroit City Council since 2014, has continued to solidify her reputation as a public servant who works hard for Detroit. However, examining the candidates’ records reveals that Tlaib and Jones have shown a commitment to improving their constituents’ quality of life on a local and national level throughout their public careers.
Tlaib has made national headlines for being an unrelenting critic of President Donald Trump’s policies and statements (including his recent threat to send Federal troops to Detroit). Still, her time in Congress also has addressed neighborhoods, such as securing $25 million in funding for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (doing business as NeighborWorks America), a Congressionally-chartered nonprofit that supports community development in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
In an Aug. 3 statement announcing the funding—part of an appropriations bill passed in the House—Tlaib said: “I pushed for this funding at the start of this pandemic and since then, a number of my residents have called in dire need of home repairs with few—if any—options for us to help them secure it. This $25 million is a ray of hope for our folks suffering from damaged roofs over their heads and other housing revitalization needs during one of the most difficult times our country has ever faced.”
Jones, a fixture at Detroit community events known for her grassroots connections, has sponsored nine ordinances and 40 resolutions. During her 15 total years in City Council, her plan has focused on jobs, neighborhoods, education, safety, and promoting opportunities for business development and growth across Detroit.
Both candidates’ records had earned them prominent endorsements entering Tuesday’s Democratic primary with Tlaib backed by high-profile national figures like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Jones by more local endorsements from members of Detroit City Council.
This morning,Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) released the following statement regarding yesterday’s primary election
“The 13th Congressional District raised me, and it is an honor to represent my neighbors in the United States House of Representatives. This re-election campaign took place during unprecedented times and involved us showing up for others and making sure our people had what they needed to get through the COVID-19 pandemic while demanding change and the end to systemic racism.
“We hit the ground running during my first term, delivering exceptional constituent services and pushing meaningful legislation birthed in the district – and I’m so thankful that Democratic voters in every corner of the district have decided that we earned a chance to continue this essential work of ensuring that government works on behalf of everyday people, centering the most vulnerable.
“Voters sent a clear message that they’re done waiting for transformative change, that they want an unapologetic fighter who will take on the status quo and win. We have a resounding mandate to put people before profits. Let it be known that in the 13th District, just like in communities across our country, we are done with establishment politics that put corporations first. If I was considered the most vulnerable member of the Squad, I think it’s safe to say the Squad is here to stay, and it’s only getting bigger.
“Thank you to my neighbors, to the countless volunteers, my dedicated team, and to my family for staying by my side and demanding that we never lose our sense of urgency for serving the people. Onward to November, defeating the impeached President, and showing up for each other along the way.”