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In a Contentious Primary Race, Representative Haley Stevens Put an End to the Levin Political Dynasty

The Levin political dynasty came to an end on Tuesday night in a vicious House primary in the Detroit suburbs. According to NBC News projections, progressive Rep. Andy Levin, D-Michigan, lost to more moderate Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Michigan. This brought an end to the Levin political dynasty.

Levin is the son of the late Democratic Representative from Michigan, Sander Levin, and the nephew of the late Democratic Senator from Michigan, Carl Levin. Since 1979, at least one member of the family has held a seat in the United States Congress; this streak of service will come to an end in January.

The unusual incumbent-versus-incumbent primary matchup was the result of a redistricting plan that merged portions of their current districts, with more voters coming from Stevens’ current territory. This was the first time that an incumbent faced another incumbent in a primary election.

In a surprising turn of events, Levin, who is Jewish, was forced to defend his record on Israel-related policies against attacks from supporters of Stevens, who has been more hawkish on the issue despite not being Jewish.

Stevens’ supporters attacked Levin because Stevens has been more extreme on the issue. J Street, a progressive pro-Israel group, paid approximately $700,000 for advertisements backing Levin. A super PAC affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee spent $4.2 million on advertisements supporting Stevens and attacking Levin.


It appears that Stevens will prevail in the 11th Congressional District of Michigan over Levin.

However, the disagreement regarding Israel was only one of many subplots that were included in an otherwise complex narrative.

Both campaigns put a significant amount of effort into trying to win over black voters in the newly redrawn 11th District, which has a population that is nonwhite at a rate of 29 per cent of those who are of voting age.

Both retiring Democratic Representative Brenda Lawrence of Michigan, who is Black and now represents a large number of the district’s voters, and the Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Joyce Beatty, endorsed Stevens for the seat.

Liberal figures such as Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) campaigned for Levin in the race’s final stages, turning it into a national struggle between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party.

Last but not least, it provided a platform from which to demonstrate the power of EMILY’s List, an organisation that backs female candidates for office who are in favour of abortion rights.

Even though Levin supports abortion rights and was only recently arrested outside the Supreme Court while fighting for their protection, a branch of EMILY’s List donated more than $5 million to help Stevens.

Even though the race only directly affected one seat in Congress, political elites placed a significant amount of importance on the outcome of the contest.

This was evident by the amount of money spent on the race as well as the high-profile endorsements that were given. The contest had come to represent much more to activists, donors, and the leaders of the progressive and centrist wings of the Democratic Party.

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An unanticipated level of heat was brought to a campaign between two MPs who almost usually vote the same way on the House floor as a result of the heavy attention.

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