Clerk Janice M. Winfrey Announces Run for Congressional 12th District Seat   

Detroit City Clerk Janice M. Winfrey is running for the 12th District Michigan Congressional seat.


One of Detroit’s leading officials is putting their hat in the race for a local congressional seat.

Detroit City Clerk Janice M. Winfrey announced her candidacy for the Michigan Congressional seat in the 12th District at a press conference on Friday, February 11 at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Southfield.

The new district encompasses the majority of Detroit, Hamtramck, the Grosse Pointes, and downriver-area communities in the 2022 midterm election.

Incumbent Rashida Tlaib and Southfield resident Michelle Wooddell are running in the Democratic primary for U.S. House Michigan District 12 on August 2, according to

“As the (Keeper) of Democracy, it is important that the right to vote remains easy, accessible, and transparent. I have stood up against the “big lie” and now I am standing up for the citizens in the 12th congressional District.” Winfrey said in a press release.


Redistricting, due to the 2020 US Census, rearranged the legislative boundaries in Southeast Michigan with six communities in the newly formed 12th that initially belonged under the former 13th District, along with seven that were not a part of it. In 2018, when Winfrey ran for Congress against John Conyers, Jr., Winfrey garnered 40 percent of the vote.

Winfrey is focusing her candidacy for U.S. Congress on improving the health, education, and economic conditions of each citizen she represents. Her first priority will be to take care of the people who live in her district, according to her press release.

Fr. Chris Yaw, director at St. David’s, spoke at the press conference about how Winfrey, and her parents, had deep history at the multi-racial congregation serving the Southfield since its founding in the 1950s.

“We are so excited to see Janice pursue her calling,” Yaw said adding that Winfrey has “regularly impressed” him as a “woman of conviction and honesty.”

Yaw added that Winfrey is entering the race at a time the country is facing “unprecedented challenges.”

“Our country is in deep need of moderating ambitions …transparency,” Yaw said, adding that a government is made up of respectable people who understand what servanthood is about.

Rev. Jim Holley, who also spoke during the press conference, said that he endorses Winfrey, and she has the “spirit” of Rep. John Conyers.

“I don’t mind telling you I endorse this candidate, Janice Winfrey,” Rev. Holley said, adding. “She is in that spirit. Understand what is happening here — she is announcing her candidacy in the church.

“She is a church woman; this is a calling for Janice — when you look over her life and the work she has done in this political realm she has always been here and stayed the test. If there is ever a time we need her — we need her.”

“God is good,” Winfrey said as people cheered her on.

Winfrey added that she is “blessed” and “honored” to announce her candidacy at the press conference.

“The spirit of my father is here.”

Winfrey, sworn in as Detroit City Clerk in January 2005, said that the “life-changing decision” to run reflects on her values as a servant in the public office space, which she dedicated her life to.

Winfrey, who grew up on Outer Drive in Detroit, said that her father raised five children on his salary working at the Willow Run Facility decades earlier.

“I watched him every morning eat breakfast to ensure the family had food on the table,” she said adding that she was raised in a community of other families that also want to “enjoy the American Dream.”

“As an elected official I believe community comes first and always comes first to me,” Winfrey said, adding that every citizen should have access to good-paying jobs, adequate housing, healthcare, and access to free quality education.

Winfrey added that her husband, Tyrone, is heavily involved in the education field and has worked with colleges to ensure opportunities for disadvantaged youth.

“When you get me, you get him,” Winfrey said, adding that she also has a background in education.

Winfrey closed and said to the audience that she has “spent her entire life” in the southeastern District and studied here and grew here “to make you proud of me.”

“I’ve done everything expected of me and asked of me and now I ask something of you — when you go to polls on August 2 vote for me as the next representative of Congress because I am you,” Winfrey said.



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