Our tips in the 8th Congressional District

8th Congressional District: (Flint, Saginaw, Midland, Bay City)

Michigan’s 8th Congressional District encompasses the heart of the Lower Peninsula and includes the aging industrial cities of Flint, Saginaw and Bay City, as well as Midland, home to one of the world’s largest chemical companies. The Tri-Cities region has been hit hard by deindustrialization, while Midland is struggling with Dow’s increasing globalization.

The 8th District is Michigan’s only congressional district without an incumbent; Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee is retiring after holding the seat for a decade. Although the district leans Democratic—President Joe Biden beat Donald Trump here by nearly four percentage points in 2020—the Republican Party has its sights set on the seat.

The primaries have aroused great interest. Each party has three candidates running in the primaries.

Kristen McDonald Rivet, Matt Collier and Pamela Pugh are running for the Democrats.

McDonald Rivet, of Bay City, has had a long career as a bureaucrat and politician. The current senator and mother of six previously served as executive director of Michigan Head Start, chief of staff for the Michigan Department of Education and vice president of the Skillman Foundation, where she worked on education policy. As a senator, she has joined with other Democrats to push a pro-worker, progressive agenda through the legislature.

Matt Collier, a lifelong Flint resident, is a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger. He previously worked for Kildee and was mayor of Flint for four years in the late 1980s. He boasts of dramatically reducing unemployment in Flint, attracting investment from General Motors and eliminating a $7 million inherited deficit during his tenure.

After leaving politics, Collier became a software executive and entrepreneur, holding top positions at several high-tech companies. He founded his own company, VetAccel, whose mission is to find jobs for veterans.

Pamela Pugh has served on the Michigan School Board since 2015. Pugh owned a private development firm that focused on urban projects. She has a doctorate in public health from the University of Michigan and was appointed the city’s top health adviser after the Flint water crisis. She has served as school board president twice.

While much of the Democratic establishment has rallied behind McDonald Rivet, the mix of political and personal experience that Matt Collier makes him the better choice in the Democratic primaries.

Mary Draves, Anthony Hudson Jr. and Paul Junge are running in the Republican primaries.

Mary Draves is a former dairy farmer and Dow Chemical executive who is running for office for the first time. Her priorities are fighting inflation, securing the border, containing China and protecting family farms. Her campaign benefited from a $377,000 donation from the Winning for Women Action Fund, an organization that works to elect female Republican candidates.

Anthony Hudson Jr. is a veteran and trucking company owner. He is far right on most issues and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment. Hudson courted controversy early in the campaign when he used an AI-generated voiceover of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to support his campaign.

Paul Junge of Grand Blanc is running for the congressional seat for the second time, losing to Kildee by 10 percentage points in 2022. He has a varied resume that includes working on immigration issues for the Trump administration, running a family business providing housing for military personnel, and working as a television news anchor.

He is a practical conservative who supports aid to Israel and finding solutions to the Social Security and Medicare crises.

Paul Young receives our support in the Republican primaries.