Incumbent Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) triumphed over Republican challenger Tom Barrett to represent Michigan’s newly drawn 7th District in a race that became a battleground of competing endorsements.
Slotkin portrayed herself as a centrist Democrat with a history of working closely with Republicans while also appealing to the other side of the aisle by flexing her national security credentials.
Barrett portrayed himself as a patriotic Trump-allied conservative, stressing his veteran status as having served in Iraq, despite his opposition to the war.
While Slotkin’s message won over Michiganders in the end, the race was neck and neck for most of its duration, becoming one of the most expensive in the country — drawing in $27 million in funding by mid-October, according to Bridge Michigan.
She became the first Democrat endorsed by Liz Cheney, drawing in retaliatory endorsements for Barrett from Cheney’s successful midterm challenger, Harriet Hageman, and former Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.
“I’m proud to endorse Elissa Slotkin,” Cheney said in a statement shared by the Democrat’s campaign, according to the Washington Post. “Serving together on the Armed Services Committee, I have come to know Elissa as a good and honorable public servant who works hard for the people she represents, wants what’s best for the country, and is in this for the right reasons.”
“While Elissa and I have our policy disagreements, at a time when our nation is facing threats at home and abroad, we need serious, responsible, substantive members like Elissa in Congress,” Cheney said. “I encourage all voters in the 7th District — Republicans, Democrats, and independents — to support her in this election.”
The race was also characterized by personal attacks between the two candidates, with Slotkin appearing to threaten to fight Barrett in the parking lot outside the debate stage when he appeared to accuse her of infidelity over public records showing her having the same address as a man that wasn’t her husband.
“Just answer the question. Do you believe that I’m living with another man other than my husband? Because if so, we’d love to have a conversation out in the parking lot after the debate,” Slotkin said.
“I’m not stating anything other than what the record suggests, which is that you’re renting a residence from a lobbyist,” said Barrett, adding that Hollister’s LLC is also registered at the residence.