Debbie Dingell Poised To Keep U.S. House Seat In The Family
Debbie Dingell is expected to announce Friday that she will run to succeed her husband, John Jr., for the southeast Michigan congressional seat that's been in the family since John Sr. was elected in 1933.
Though several news outlets reported her intentions, former Michigan state legislator Bill Ballenger of InsideMichiganPolitics.com retained a kernel of skepticism.
Ballenger, who has known Debbie, 60, for four decades, and John Jr., 87, even longer, says it was the 29-term congressman's own comments that raised a red flag.
"Deborah and I simply are coming home," John Dingell said Monday in Michigan when he announced his retirement.
But by Wednesday, that plan seemed more than up in the air. "I actually take these people seriously," Ballenger said. "That's my problem."
If she runs, Debbie Dingell, a former General Motors lobbyist turned Democratic Party activist and her husband's closest political aide, will begin as a prohibitive favorite.
With the prominent Democrat — she's a national party committee member — poised to keep Michigan's Democratic-oriented 12th Congressional District in the family, here are five things to know about the woman who has been a congressional spouse since 1981.
Ballenger, the Michigan political analyst, says that Debbie Dingell would "pick up right where her husband left off" if elected to Congress, but perhaps with a sheen of bipartisanship.
"She was once a GM lobbyist, from a wealthy Grosse Pointe family, and was once a Republican," he said. "The interesting thing about her would be where she'd line up ideologically."
That is, if she runs. And if she wins, she'll usher in what DeadlineDetroit.com headlined "A Full Century of Dingellmania In The House."
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