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Democrats for Michigan’s 8th Congressional Seat

Democrats for Michigan’s 8th Congressional Seat

Democrats for Michigan’s 8th Congressional Seat

Michigan Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet represents Senate District 35, which includes parts of Bay, Midland and Saginaw counties.

Michigan Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet represents Senate District 35, which includes parts of Bay, Midland and Saginaw counties.

Michigan Senate

Three Democratic candidates are in the running to represent Michigan’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives: Kristen McDonald Rivet, Pamela Pugh and Matt Collier.

The 8th Congressional District covers most of Genesee County, all of Saginaw and Bay counties, and parts of Midland and Tuscola counties.

The district is currently represented by U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint), who announced last November that he would retire at the end of his term. Kildee has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2012.

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In the August 6 primary election, voters will choose one of three Democratic candidates for the district. The Republican candidates for the district’s primary are Paul Junge, Mary Draves and Anthony Hudson.

McDonald Rivet serves as a state senator representing District 35, which encompasses parts of Saginaw, Bay and Midland counties. She was elected to the seat in November 2022.

McDonald Rivet grew up in Portland, Michigan and moved to Bay City 15 years ago. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan with a concentration in educational administration.

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McDonald Rivet served as CEO of the Michigan Head Start Association, senior policy advisor to Governor Jennifer Granholm, chief of staff of the Michigan Department of Education, vice president of the Skillman Foundation, president and CEO of Greater Midland, and vice president of Michigan Future.

Prior to becoming a state senator, McDonald Rivet served as a Bay City commissioner for two years and was chair of the Bay City Charter Commission. She is currently the Senate’s assistant majority leader and serves on seven committees.

If elected to Congress, she will have three goals: lower costs and raise wages for working-class families, support children and the families who raise them, and protect rights, including the right to abortion.

“These have been my priorities in the state Senate as well, which is why I was able to defend the Working Families Tax Credit and we were able to challenge the 1931 abortion law and pass legislation that makes housing more affordable,” McDonald Rivet said. “The way I’m going to accomplish that in Congress is the way we’ve been able to accomplish a lot of that in the state legislature. It’s about rolling up your sleeves, being willing to compromise and working together and focusing squarely on actions that can actually accomplish something. I stay away from political theater, I don’t get involved in the chaos and Twitter fights. I’m going to go to Congress and work with anyone who wants to work with me.”

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Last week, McDonald Rivet received endorsements from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Rep. Dan Kildee.

“Dan has been an incredible advocate for us in Congress. There are things that he’s doing that I intend to pick up and carry forward. Whether we’re talking about capping the cost of insulin or fighting on behalf of our communities to bring money home. Particularly in places like the Flint water crisis, Dan — in Washington — never forgets about our communities,” McDonald Rivet said. “I’m honored to have his support because I intend to follow in his footsteps, not only in what he’s doing but in the way he works. He’s authentic and deeply connected to our community at every level and that’s how I intend to serve as well.”

Other approvals (as of July 1):

  • Elected Officials: Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, Bay County Executive Jim Barcia, and many others.

  • Unions: AFL-CIO, UAW, MEA, SEIU, Teamsters, LIUNA, Plumbers and Pipefitters, IBEW, Firefighters, AFSCME, Carpenters, UFCW, Boilermakers, Bricklayers, Ironworkers, IUPAT, Sheet Metal Workers, and United Steelworkers

  • Press: Detroit Free Press

  • Organizations: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, EMILY’s List, League of Conservation Voters, Elect Democratic Women, End Citizens United, and several others.

  • More than 20 local activists, pastors and grassroots leaders

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Fundraising (as of July 1): McDonald’s Rivet has raised more than $1.5 million.

Pugh is the president of the Michigan Board of Education. She was first elected to the board in 2014.

Pugh was born in Newton, Mississippi and moved to Carrollton in Saginaw County when she was one year old. Her family moved to Saginaw when she was 15 and still lives there now. She has lived in this county for 52 years.

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Pugh earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Florida A&M University and a Doctorate of Public Health and Master of Science degree from the University of Michigan.

Pugh has more than 25 years of experience in leadership roles, including being appointed as the chief health advisor in response to the Flint water crisis. As chair of the State Board of Education, she has fought for equitable and adequate funding for the public school system and supported Detroit students in the right to literacy lawsuit, urging the state to guarantee students’ fundamental right to an education with access to teachers, books, and schools that are not crumbling.

Pugh’s work has garnered national recognition, including two Dr. Montague Cobb Awards from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“My goals (for Congress) are about what I will do on policy, but also how I will govern. My approach is to listen and see others, to be a present leader, a problem solver and someone who stands up for truth and integrity,” Pugh said. “Whether you are a Republican, Independent or Democrat, I will welcome you into our offices and make sure your concerns are truly heard, answered and addressed. We may not agree, but I want my constituents to know they can count on me to make the effort to make their lives better.”

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Matt Collier was mayor of Flint from 1987 to 1991. He was born in Flint and has lived there most of his life.

Collier earned an engineering degree from West Point before serving as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army for six years. He eventually rose to the status of Airborne Ranger.

After his service in the Army, he was recruited back to Flint by then-U.S. Congressman Dale Kildee to serve as his district director.

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During his tenure as mayor of Flint, Collier added thousands of jobs to the Flint-area economy, reduced serious crime and balanced four consecutive budgets.

After his time as mayor, he attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he earned a master’s degree in public administration. He worked as an entrepreneur, CEO, and senior executive at several technology companies until 2015, when he was recruited by the Obama administration as an appointee to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of One World, a nonprofit youth leadership and character development organization; a trustee and past president of the Concussion Legacy Foundation; and a member of the National Association of Research and Education Foundations, which leads veteran-based innovation and research related to the Department of Veterans Affairs health care network.

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“Right now, it’s clear that Congress is broken and that those who are being left behind are the people I grew up with in Flint. That’s why I’m running for Congress,” Collier said. “I’m running to lower costs for working families, so people can put food on their tables and a roof over their heads and afford to send their kids to college. Every Michigander should be able to get quality health care they can actually afford and prescription drugs that don’t cost too much money. Unions helped ensure that hard work paid the bills, but so much of our manufacturing industry has been hollowed out and shipped overseas. We need to expand American manufacturing and make sure we’re building things in Michigan and in America. Because you shouldn’t have to go to college to be able to support your family.”

Isabelle Pasciolla is a political reporter for the Midland Daily News. Email her at [email protected].