Former Rep. Hansen Clarke's hopes of returning to Congress in a definitive Tuesday primary might be just that for the Michigan Democrat — hopes.
He's attempting to leverage his name recognition as a former one-term member, but Clarke's top two Democratic rivals, state Rep. Rudy Hobbs and Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, have major political heft behind their campaigns. Several of Clarke's former colleagues have lined up behind his opponents, and others
expressed doubt about his prospects of coming back to Congress. "I wanted Hansen to come back, but Hansen didn't get any labor endorsements," said Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., who is neutral in the race, in between votes last week. "I think that that's almost fatal." Clarke lost re-election in 2012, when Democratic Rep. Gary Peters trounced him in a member-vs.-member race in the Detroit-based, black-majority district that stretches from the city's wealthiest suburbs to its poorest neighborhoods. Clarke ran a disorganized campaign and sources on the ground said a similar scenario is playing out again in the open-seat race this time.