Michigan: Report Says Democrats Wooing Ex-Rep. Joe Schwarz

Ex-Rep. Joe Schwarz (right), seen here at freshman orientation in 2004, is eyeing a comeback bid in Michigan as a Democrat. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats are recruiting former Rep. Joe Schwarz, who served in Congress as a Republican, to challenge Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), according to a local report.

MIRS, a Michigan political news service, confirmed Schwarz talked with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week about the race. Schwarz, a frequent critic of the GOP's conservative wing, told MIRS that "competition would be good" for Walberg.

Schwarz's Democratic candidacy would make the district competitive for the DCCC, which has yet to find a recruit to challenge Walberg. And if Schwarz decides to run, his bid would mark the third time he's faced Walberg in the 7th district.

Schwarz no longer lives in the 7th district after Republicans redrew the Congressional map last year. GOP mapmakers moved his Calhoun County home into the 3rd district and, in the process, made the 7th district less competitive.

But Walberg and Schwarz have had a tangled political history over the last few cycles.

In 2004, Schwarz defeated Walberg in a crowded GOP primary then went on to win the general election. In 2006, Walberg launched another bid and defeated Schwarz in the GOP primary.

In 2008, Walberg lost re-election to Rep. Mark Schauer (D), who had Schwarz's backing. Two years later, Walberg defeated Schauer and took back the seat.

Topics: house-2012 mich-7