(Rev. QuanTez Pressley, Rev. Wendell Anthony and Rev. Dr. Steve Bland Jr.)
Reelecting U.S. Senator Gary Peters comes down to “ensuring that the most vulnerable in our society have a voice,” said Rev. QuanTez Pressley during an Aug. 7 virtual event, which announced “Pastors for Peters.”
Pressley, the lead pastor of Third New Hope Baptist Church served as the moderator of the online event presented by the Peters for Michigan campaign. In a statement announcing the program, the Peters campaign said participating pastors from across Michigan would show “their support for Gary’s reelection, access to affordable health care, strengthening economic opportunities, and the importance of protecting voting rights in recognition of the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.” However, in making the case for choosing the Democrat Peters over his Republican challenger John James, the language used by the pastors during the event was often more direct.
“We cannot go back on the plantation of political misrepresentation—we cannot afford John James,” stated Rev. Wendell Anthony, who referenced a past statement where James proclaimed “2,000 percent” support of President Donald Trump.
Rev. Anthony, senior pastor of Fellowship Chapel and president of the Detroit NAACP, went on to say that a vote for Peters is a vote for accessible and affordable health care, voting rights, labor, living wages, quality education, jobs, economic development, and social justice. Rev. Anthony’s assessment was shared by Rev. Dr. Steve Bland, senior pastor of Liberty Temple Baptist Church and president of the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity. Bland described voting for Peters as a “no-brainer,” while emphasizing that Peters has consistently worked with the Council of Baptist Pastors and other vital community organizations during his time in public office.
“I’m supporting him because he has always put Michigan families first,” said Bland of Peters, who served in the Michigan State Senate and U.S. House of Representatives before being sworn into the U.S. Senate in 2015. Bland added: “Now more than ever we need someone who has proven their leadership.”
During the event, Peters also pointed to his body of work as the most important reason why voters should select him over James, the president of Detroit-based James Group International (ranked No. 30 on the 2019 Black Enterprise Top 100 Companies list), who lost in his first run for the U.S. Senate in 2018 against Debbie Stabenow and has never held public office.
“I’m running on my record,” said Peters, whose legislative record as a U.S. Senator includes sponsoring 11 bills that were enacted. The most recent include: the “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Act”, “Protecting America’s Food & Agriculture Act of 2019” and “Support for Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act of 2019.”