Skinner Causing Static for DCCC Choice Peters

Posted October 19, 2007 at 12:45pm

Former radio talk-show host Nancy Skinner (D) has decided to go for it a second time in the 9th district, creating a Democratic primary between herself and former state Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters.

With almost no money or help from national Democrats, Skinner came within 5 points of defeating Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R) in 2006.

Peters, who was courted by Washington, D.C., Democrats to run for the seat this cycle, raised more than $217,000 in the past financial reporting period covering the first six weeks of his campaign.

Skinner — who made her announcement last week on radio ads on her former station — said her name identification from the previous cycle and her gender are both a plus for her campaign.

“We hear often that ‘we can’t afford a primary,’” Skinner said. “But I think given the divide in the party … I think we cannot afford not to have one because this is our chance, the Democrats’ chance, to decide where we want our party to go.”

Bill Ballenger, publisher of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter, said Peters ought to be able to win the primary.

“They consider Gary Peters the kind of candidate the party would put up against any Republican incumbent that Democrats believe they could take out,” said Ballenger.

The general election, however, against the eight-term Congressman might be in a challenge for the Democrats in what Ballenger called a “marginally Republican seat.”

“And Knollenberg was a pretty popular, has been a pretty popular incumbent, almost his entire tenure,” he added.

— Shira Toeplitz