EXPERT: State Senator announces run for U.S. Congress, what are his chances?


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — We don’t even know what Michigan’s congressional districts are going to look like next year but that didn’t stop one candidate from formally announcing his candidacy today.

Tom Barrett is a republican state senator representing areas in Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham County, and his decision to run comes despite redistricting maps still being drawn. Experts say with Lansing possibly becoming a new congressional district it will be competitive.

As redistricting maps are still being decided on experts say they see some consistency.

“Traditionally Lansing has been grouped with Detroit suburbs and excerpts and it looks very likely that we will have a congressional district that is really based more on the Lansing Metropolitan area,” said Matt Grossmann, a Michigan State University professor at the Insititute for Public Policy and Social Research.

Some politicians see that as their opportunity to run for congress.
“I’m going to step up and do what I can and for me, that was running for congress and announcing that today,” said State Senator Tom Barrett (R).

Barrett lives in Charlotte. He’s a father of 4, served 21 years in the army, a state senator, and now he wants to represent his district in Washington D.C.

“I think that I have a lot of interest that aligns with Michigan. They’re seeing runaway inflation that is taking more out of our paycheck. When we go to the grocery store I’m a father of 4 and we’re feeling that in my family. We have uncertainty abroad, we have adversaries taking advantage of our perceived weakness right now.” said Barrett. “We have parents being stripped of their rights to control their child’s education. There are so many issues that we’re facing that I want to go to Washington and tackle on their behalf. We have to do better than that, and I’m going to do better than that and that’s why I’m running for Congress to stand up to President Biden and change this direction.”

Barrett could end up running against a current member of Congress, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D). What are either of their chances?

“This new district is going to be more democratic than that district likely where the majority of people voted for Joe Biden. But that does not mean it’s a safe district for Slotkin. The party out of the presidency tends to do well in the midterm election so that gives republicans an opportunity in this new district. Tom Barrett is by our traditional standards a quality candidate, which means that he’s won elected office before. So he comes in as an experienced candidate and we would consider that a strong challenger,” said Grossmann.

He also says there’s a chance that people who oppose the party of the president will be eager to vote.

As for Slotkin, she may also have a good chance.
“Slotkin if she moves into our district as expected, she will be helped by the fact that her district is going to be more democratic,” said Grossmann. “Her new district will be more democratic than her old district. And she already won some cross-over votes from Republicans in her old district so she’ll have that advantage.”

Today a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee says Barrett will be a “disaster for Michigan families.” Barrett says he’s fit for the job after serving his county in the army and being elected and trusted as a state legislature

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