Residents in the 13th District talk about the history-making race

Posted at 6:20 PM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 18:20:22-04

Only six more days to go until election day in Michigan -- and races are heating up.   

History will certainly be made in the state's 13th Congressional District in Detroit. Two candidates will square off Tuesday. One is Shri Thanedar -- an Indian American. The other, Martell Bivings, a Republican who is African American.             

That means for the first time in nearly 70 years Detroit may not have Black representation.

In the newly drawn 13th Congressional District Shri Thanedar a 67-year-old Indian American and self-made millionaire will face Republican Martell Bivings this Tuesday.

Political experts believe Thanedar has the upper hand in the Democratic leaning district.

His victory would mean for the first time in nearly seven decades Detroiters will not have Black representation in the district.

“I feel it's very important that we do have someone of color who understands the needs and the wants not trying to be prejudiced and biased, but it is of great importance,” said Detroit voter Delphine Perry.

Other Detroiters I spoke to today who were handing in their absentee ballots say it really doesn't matter.

“It doesn't worry me I think Thanedar can express my beliefs about government,” said Detroit voter Anthony Sims.

“It doesn't matter whether it be Black, White, Latino or whatever if they get in that office and do the job,” said another Detroit voter Dolores Flores.

I spoke to Dr. Ronald Brown, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Wayne State University, who has been studying this very issue.

“What is lost is the racial symbolism of having someone that identifies with the black community in Detroit and the long history of being involved in national as well as international politics,” said Dr. Brown.

Dr. Brown says those who represent Detroit in Congress need to understand what's lacking and to fight for resources.

Black voters are thinking about someone that will be in the office that will bring home services to the community,” said Dr. Brown.

“We need black representation every individual must have their own representation,” said Detroit voter Misty Gregory. “It's only the fair way to be.”

Bottom line if you don't vote you don't have a say. Detroit has 20 drop boxes like the one here at the tindal recreation center with round-the-clock security. They also have in-person voting inside.