State Sen. Tom Barrett announces bid for U.S. House seat as GOP tries to seize control of Congress


State. Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, is running for a congressional seat. - FACEBOOK
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  • State. Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, is running for a congressional seat.

As Democrats struggle to maintain control of the U.S. House, a heated battle is taking shape in one of Michigan’s swing districts.

State Sen. Tom Barrett, a conservative Republican from Charlotte, announced Monday that he’s running for the seat held by Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly.

In November 2018, Slotkin, a former CIA analyst, narrowly defeated Republican Rep. Mike Bishop to claim the 8th congressional district seat, which covers the Lansing area and had been held by Republicans since 2001. Slotkin won a second term by a slim margin in November 2020.

The state’s new redistricting commission is working on the boundaries of the district, which is expected to change because Michigan is losing a U.S. House seat. Under a current draft, Slotkin and Barrett would be in the same district.

In a video announcing his candidacy on Facebook on Monday, Barrett suggested that President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is eroding personal liberties.

“I believe individuals should be able to freely give their consent without fear of retaliation or coercion before receiving the COVID vaccine,” Barrett, who contracted the coronavirus last year, said. “Every soldier, every American, has the freedom to make that choice for themselves.”

In the state Senate, Barrett supported a series of bills that would bar mask and vaccine mandates for students in Michigan.

The 2022 midterm elections will determine which party controls the U.S. House. Democrats seized control of the House in 2020, but political analysts warn that Republicans could win back the chamber in 2022 as Biden’s approval ratings continue to sink.

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