State Sen. Mickey Switalski (D) announced over the weekend that he will challenge Rep. Sander Levin (D) next year, according to a local newspaper report.
Switalski, 54, is term-limited in the state Legislature and can’t seek re-election in 2010. Levin will turn 78 this year, is currently serving his 14th term in Congress and is the third-ranking Democrat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
“We can’t continue with the status quo. We need to make changes. I have the energy and fresh ideas to accomplish this,— he said, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Following Switalski’s announcement, Levin released an internal poll from the Mellman Group that showed the Congressman in good standing.
The poll found Levin ahead of Switalski 62 percent to 14 percent in a head-to-head horse race, with 24 percent of voters undecided.
“Not only is Levin’s support far larger than Switalski’s, Levin’s support is also significantly more intense,— according to the polling memo.
Levin received a 74 percent favorable rating and a 15 percent unfavorable rating among those voters surveyed. In the same poll, Switalski had a 23 percent favorable rating and an 8 percent unfavorable rating. The poll surveyed 400 likely Democratic primary voters March 17-18 and had a margin of error of 5 points.
Levin won re-election in his district north of Detroit with 72 percent of the vote in 2008. He has not had a serious re-election challenge since the round of redistricting completed after the 1990 Census.