Haley Stevens, a Democratic congressional candidate appears during a rally in Detroit Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Haley Stevens
Haley Stevens, a Democratic congressional candidate appears during a rally in Detroit Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Aside from dealing with pandemic challenges for Michiganders, she campaigned on health care, immigration, and sensible gun reform.

MICHIGAN — Haley Stevens will represent Michigan’s 11th Congressional District for a second term, unofficial results show.

Stevens, who was first voted into office during the “blue wave” of 2018, this time defeated former nurse and current attorney Eric Esshaki by over 10,000 votes, garnering 50.2% of the reported vote count.

Her district includes portions of Oakland and Wayne counties, including such municipalities as Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Birmingham, Plymouth, Commerce Township, Troy, Farmington, and others.

In a statement delivered via tweet, Stevens said she was “honored and humbled” to represent her district for a second term.

“I am proud to call this district home and I love the people with all my heart,” her statement read. “We face significant challenges in the months to come, from the COVID-19 pandemic to an extended period of economic recovery.

“I intend to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to stand up for Michigan workers and small businesses, and protect the health and safety of everyone to get our economy back on track.”

The Cook Political Report listed the 11th District as a “lean Democratic” toss-up.

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A Continued Focus on Health Care, Environmental Preservation, Immigration, and Gun Reform

The Rochester Hills native campaigned with a goal of being the first Michigan Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Her re-election campaign focused on issues such as fixing the Affordable Care Act and not dismantling it; stopping the “regressive politics” of the Environmental Protection Agency and preserving Michigan’s natural resources; securing borders, providing a path to citizenship, and aiding “Dreamers”; and commonsense gun laws, including background check loopholes and cracking down on bump stocks.

She has been a self-described “fierce advocate” for public education––staunch in her defense “against the Trump-DeVos agenda,” in reference to the current US Secretary of Education.

In 2019, Stevens launched the Congressional Plastics Solutions Task Force, to invest in recycling technologies and reduce plastic consumption. She also pushed the Trump administration to establish a fairer protocol for companies to request exemptions to steel and aluminum tariffs that have been instituted by the president.

She and fellow Democrat Andy Levin, who won re-election in his 9th Congressional District race, previously introduced the Fair Access for Individuals to Receive Leave Act bill. The bipartisan legislation would allow for spouses working for the same employer to each take up to 12 work weeks, or 24 total weeks, of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for the birth of a child, the placement and adoption of a child, or the care of a parent with a serious health condition.

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Stevens Said COVID-19 Would Have Future Implications on Nation, Values

When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold on the nation and the world in March, Stevens introduced bipartisan legislation to lessen the financial burden on small businesses by opening up services to small and mid-sized manufacturers.

Over 50 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the pandemic began.

Prior to knowing she would face Esshaki in the general election, Stevens did not mince words about the effect of the pandemic and how leaders would be judged for decades to come.

“In the months and years to come, we will reflect on this time, where we stood, what our values were, and feel pride in our efforts and results,” she said in a tweet.

Esshaki Hoped Message of ‘Broken’ Washington Would be Victorious

Esshaki defeated four Republican challengers in the August primary, winning approximately 31% of the vote to move on to the general election.

He campaigned as being pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-border security, and pro-Constitution. He called Congress “broken” and said a reason he ran for this seat was to avoid “playing political games” and Washington, DC talking points.

Esshaki said “endless government regulations and taxes don’t work” and that government control is not a solution for the ills of the middle class.

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He added that in his approximate decade of experience being a nurse, “Obamacare only added to the suffering and waste that existed within the system, creating large medical bureaucracies while doing nothing to control costs.” 

During his campaign, Esshaki, of Birmingham, called Stevens “unhinged” and distorted her position on what he deemed was a “socialized” healthcare system based on Medicare For All Principles. Before Stevens was elected for the first time, she campaigned on having a public option available as part of the Affordable Care Act.