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Congressman Dan Kildee, a lifelong Michigander, is running for re-election, in the newly-drawn 8th congressional district. This new district covers much of his previous district (including the city of Flint), but redistricting has made the new district more conservative.
Dan speaks about the attack on the U.S. Capitol: When the Trump-supporting mob attacked the U.S. capitol building on January 6, 2021, Dan was sitting in the House gallery; during the pandemic, members sat there to offer space and social distancing between each other. When the attackers broke into the building Dan phoned his wife; he recalls: “As soon as I heard her voice, it just hit me that I was having that phone call you hear about. From the building that's about to collapse or from the airplanes going down."Dan said he remembers lying on the floor of the balcony that day as he heard gunshot, thinking back to his first visit to the Capitol as a teenager. His first view of Congress had been from the same spot, and he now wondered if it would be his last sight, too. "I grew up loving this institution, wanting to be a part of it. Finally getting here, feeling this incredible honor every time I walk into it. And then to have people who are also Americans who not only don't feel that, who desecrated, who tried to literally tear it and what it stands for apart. That hurts me even today." As the one-year anniversary of the attack approached, Dan said he had lost respect for many of his Republican colleagues, who tell lies about election fraud and object to fair election results, which he believes directly inspired the attack on the Capitol. He said he planned to be back at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2022, because he believes the most important thing about the attack in 2021 was that Congress did come back and certify the results. "We finished our work over the objections of the majority of one of the two political parties in this country. If they had had their way, we would not have certified that election. The insurrection would have succeeded."
Born and raised in Flint, Dan’s entire career has been focused on serving Michigan and his local community through public service and through his leadership of nonprofits. At age 18, he became one of the nation's youngest elected officials when he was elected to the Flint Board of Education. Dan worked for eight years at Whaley Children’s Center, a residential treatment facility in Flint for children who have experienced trauma and abuse. He was elected to Genesee County's board of commissioners, where he served for 12 years, including 5 years as chair. In 1996 Kildee was elected Genesee County Treasurer, then re-elected to many terms.
In 2002, Dan founded the Genesee County Land Bank, a first-of-its-kind governmental authority dedicated to addressing urban decay and cleaning up vacant and abandoned structures in cities such as Flint. The bank later served as a model for over 100 other land banks across the nation. In 2009 Dan co-founded and served as president of The Center for Community Progress – the leading national nonprofit helping urban, suburban, and rural communities address the full cycle of property revitalization. The organization works with state and local governments, national partners, and resident leaders to reform vacant property systems and policies, ensuring these properties are returned to productive uses that benefit the surrounding community.
Dan’s record in Congress:
Dan was elected to the U.S. House in 2012; his uncle, Dale Kildee, had previously represented the district.
As a Congressman, during the water crisis in Flint, Dan led the fight to pass legislation bringing over $100 million in federal funds to help replace lead pipes and expand health care to residents. Dan also worked across the aisle to pass laws to prevent a similar crisis from happening in the future. He led the fight to successfully stop a Canadian company from permanently burying nuclear waste less than one mile from the Great Lakes. Recently Dan and Senator Debbie Stabenow introduced legislation to expand the existing consumer tax credit for electric vehicles and add incentives for vehicles made with union labor; President Biden, environmental organizations and auto companies have endorsed that bill.
Dan is Chief Deputy Whip — part of the Democratic leadership team in Congress. He serves on the Ways and Means Committee, where he works to lower the costs of health care premiums and prescription drugs, protect Social Security and Medicare, negotiate fair trade deals, and create a tax system that benefits working families. He also serves on the Budget Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee.
Dan’s Republican opponent is Paul Junge, a former TV anchor and Trump administration official who lost in his 2020 run against Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin. Junge has lived most of his life in California. He is now moving from one part of Michigan into the new 8th district so that he can run against Dan. Junge said he is "running for Congress to fight for the conservative, America First principles that make our country strong and free" and to make a return "to the successful policies of the Trump administration." Junge wants to outlaw abortion even in cases of rape and incest. In a 2020 debate, after Congresswoman Slotkin said affordable healthcare should be a right of every American, Junge said he hesitates to call it a right. In the same debate, Junge said he sees Black Lives Matter as a Marxist organization. During the 2020 campaign Junge hosted a “COVID Q&A Happy Hour” discussion in May 2020 featuring a Republican National Committeeman with no expertise in infectious diseases, where the guest spread multiple falsehoods about the virus – including saying that COVID-19 was no more serious than the seasonal flu, stating that hospitals were inflating the number of COVID-19 deaths in order to “get a higher payment”, and that the United States had not seen an increase in overall deaths during the crisis. When Junge announced in January 2022 that he would run against Dan Kildee, he said “President Biden and Congressman Kildee are weakening America, increasing the cost of living with massive new government spending, and fighting to give handouts to illegal immigrants."
Support for Dan:
Dan has a strong record on protecting the environment, earning him a 96% lifetime score and 100% score for 2020 from the League of Conservation Voters. He has a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood, and a 0% rating from the NRA.
When Giffords (the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly) endorsed Dan it said: “Somebody is killed by a gun in Michigan every seven hours. Despite this devastating reality, the gun lobby has used its cash and influence to stifle any attempts to pass laws on Capitol Hill to make our schools, streets, and communities safer. Giffords is proud to endorse Representative Dan Kildee, who has the courage to stand up to the corporate gun lobby and who will never stop working to make Michigan communities safer.”
When the League of Conservation Voters endorsed Dan in 2020, it said: “Representative Dan Kildee recognizes the important role clean water plays for all Michigan families. This is why he has worked tirelessly to bring attention and aid to the residents of Flint suffering from the lead water crisis, co-sponsored legislation to combat the threats of invasive species in the Great Lakes, and voted consistently to defend the Clean Water Act. Time and time again he has fought to protect the environment and the health and well-being of his constituents and we are proud to support him for re-election.”
Dan’s race this time is expected to be one of the closest in the nation. Dan has been an excellent Congressman for his constituents and the country. We need to help re-elect Dan, and to ensure that his likely Republican opponent, a Trump acolyte, does not serve in the House.