Next term to focus on values and bringing people together to conquer big challenges, she says.
MICHIGAN — Elissa Slotkin is going back to Washington.
Slotkin, who first won the 8th Congressional District seat during the Democrats’ “blue wave” campaign in 2018, defeated Republican Paul Junge 51.1% to 47.1%.
Her district encompasses Ingham, Livingston and Oakland counties. Major cities include Lansing, East Lansing, Brighton, Lake Orion, and Rochester Hills.
On Nov. 4, before the results were officially called by the Associated Press, Slotkin conducted a press conference saying that although all votes were not counted, she felt “really strong confidence” in winning.
Slotkin said she was proud of doing the same or better in certain areas as compared to 2018—including winning re-election in a district President Donald Trump won by a slim margin. For example, Slotkin won Brighton this time around.
She added she had not heard from her opponent, Junge.
When asked why her constituents voted for her again, Slotkin said it’s because she speaks plainly and doesn’t use normal political talking points. She said reaching common ground on values and bringing people back together is “part of the job description.”
Her continued goals include addressing healthcare needs, notably as it pertains to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If the US Senate maintains a Republican majority, she said it will require “more hard work of compromise in order to get something done.”
The Cook Political Report listed the 8th District as a “lean Democratic” toss-up leading up to the election.
The Priorities Continue in Slotkin’s Second Term
Slotkin said her work in Congress is just beginning.
She has pushed for bipartisan reform of the Affordable Care Act. In October 2019, she introduced the successful bipartisan Real Time Benefits Act to tackle drug price discrepancies. Two months later, she co-sponsored the Lower Drug Cost Now Act to allow the government to directly negotiate with pharmaceutical companies.
Both bills have been sitting in the US Senate, untouched.
In her first two years in Congress, Slotkin worked on legislation related to prescription drug cost reduction, increasing opportunities for veterans, campaign finance reform, immigration work authorization, and local and national water body contaminants like Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.
Regarding PFAS, a bill of hers was signed into law earlier this year to make PFAS compounds a required component of EPA testing of municipal water supplies. PFAS-related testing and cleanups were also part of defense appropriations passed in the US House. Michigan-based military sites affected include the Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, and the Selfridge Air National Guard base in Harrison Township.
Other priorities have included investments in education and infrastructure, ensuring retirement security, fighting for campaign finance reform, continuing to address the opioid epidemic, and working with other national allies to preserve security and fight terrorism and cyber-attacks.
Former Trump Administration Official Junge Falls Short Against ‘Typical Liberal Politician’
Junge is a former deputy district attorney and Lansing-based TV anchor. He most recently worked in President Donald Trump’s administration as part of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, to stop illegal immigration and secure borders.
He won his primary by about 7 points, defeating three Republican challengers.
Junge said he ran for Congress “to defend the values that make America strong to help our families, promote freedom and opportunity, and secure our God-given rights spelled out in the Constitution.”
His platform included opposing tax increases and “costly liberal regulations,” along with balancing the budget. He ran to ban sanctuary cities and to stop illegal immigration, and to protect work-related healthcare and seniors’ access to Medicare.
Junge tied Slotkin’s voting record with “the squad” of former freshmen Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“Despite her careful branding, Congresswoman Slotkin is a creature of Washington D.C. who plays politics and votes like a typical liberal politician,” his campaign website stated.