GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Democrat and former Department of Justice Attorney Hillary Scholten is running for Congress in Michigan’s newly drawn 3rd District, she announced Tuesday.
Scholten unsuccessfully sought the same seat in 2020, losing an open race to current incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) by roughly six percentage points in the November election.
In an interview with FOX 17, Scholten said she’s running again for many of the same reasons that inspired her to run in 2020.
“I was born and raised here in West Michigan, and I'm raising my family here too, this is my home. Growing up, so much of what inspired me, my family, my community was an idea of giving back and service to the community. It’s been a driving force in my career and my life, especially in hard times,” Scholten said.
“We're going through those hard times right now. You know, as a mom of two young kids, a former social worker, I have worked hand in hand with people during hard hard times, this pandemic has broken open, you know, some of the already existing difficulties and disparities in our community health care, education and economy that doesn't work for working people,” Scholten added. "We need now more than ever, leaders who understand the issues of every day, west Michiganders."
Scholten says those issues include voting rights, the high costs of healthcare and child care and ongoing problems with infrastructure.
The seat, which is based around Grand Rapids has been historically red, but redistricting has made the area more favorable for Democrats, data shows it's a virtual toss-up in the general election.
"I'm not afraid to get into a tough race, I raised my hand to run in a much tougher district for a Democrat, but we were really fortunate to see this district be un-gerrymandered after years of partisan gerrymandering, and to connect strong communities of interest," Scholten said.
Incumbent Rep. Meiijer faces a GOP primary battle after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump. Scholten says she applauds that vote, but takes issue with how Meijer has voted on other measures during his first year in office.
I was disappointed to see his vote on the infrastructure bill, for example," Scholten said. "There are some some fundamental policy differences that I think will will really resonate with people in the new Michigan-03," Scholten said.
In a statement regarding his re-election campaign, Meijer says," I'm running on my record as a proven conservative who is focused on upholding our constitution and delivering commonsense results for West Michigan."
"So far, our campaign for re-election has received strong support largely from Michigan families. This momentum is exciting, and I look forward to continuing to discuss the many important issues facing our country with the voters who live and work in MI-03," he added.
Scholten is the only Democrat to announce their candidacy for the seat so far, primary elections for midterm races are to take place in August.