Congressional Black Caucus Leaders Back Hollier Over Incumbent Thanedar in Detroit House Primary

The Congressional Black Caucus chair endorses a challenger over an incumbent Indian-American congressman in Detroit, highlighting the importance of racial representation in Democratic primaries.

Muhammad Jawad
New Update
Congressional Black Caucus Leaders Back Hollier Over Incumbent Thanedar in Detroit House Primary

Congressional Black Caucus Leaders Back Hollier Over Incumbent Thanedar in Detroit House Primary

The chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Steven Horsford, has endorsed Adam Hollier, a former state senator, over incumbent U.S. Rep. Shri Thanedar in the Democratic primary for Michigan's 13th Congressional District. Hollier has also been endorsed by the immediate past chair of the Black Caucus, Rep. Joyce Beatty.

This is an uncommon move for House Democrats to endorse a primary challenger to a sitting colleague. Thanedar, who is Indian American, won the 2022 Democratic primary, but the Congressional Black Caucus is saying there should be at least one Black Detroiter in Congress, as Detroit is one of the Blackest cities in America.

Horsford cited Hollier's experience in the U.S. Army and as a member of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's cabinet as reasons for his endorsement. "Adam Hollier has dedicated his life to serving his community and country," Horsford said. "From his service in the Army to his leadership in the Michigan State Senate, Adam has the experience and vision to deliver results for the people of Michigan's 13th District."

Hollier has criticized Thanedar as an "out-of-touch millionaire" who doesn't understand working families, while Thanedar has defended his record and campaign funding. Thanedar, the first Indian American to represent Michigan in Congress, has faced accusations of running a toxic work environment and not doing enough for his constituents in Detroit.

Why this matters: The endorsement from Congressional Black Caucus leaders signals a desire to have Black representation in Congress from the majority-Black city of Detroit, a position that has been vacant since the retirement of Rep. Brenda Lawrence. The race highlights the importance of racial representation and the challenges faced by minority candidates in Democratic primaries.

Despite Thanedar's financial advantage and endorsements from other members of Congress, the CBC leaders are backing Hollier, citing his leadership and ability to "protect our freedoms, fight for our rights and ensure opportunities for everyone." The Democratic leadership in the House has remained largely noncommittal on the race, with some members suggesting their focus is on ensuring a Democratic majority in the House. The primary election is set to take place in Detroit in August 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • CBC chair endorses Adam Hollier over incumbent Shri Thanedar in MI-13 Dem primary.
  • Hollier endorsed for his military, state leadership experience; Thanedar criticized as "out-of-touch".
  • CBC wants Black representation in Congress from majority-Black Detroit, vacant since Rep. Lawrence.
  • Endorsement highlights importance of racial representation, challenges for minority Dem candidates.
  • Democratic leadership remains largely noncommittal, focused on maintaining House majority.