KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — One of the biggest races to watch this November could be for Michigan’s 6th Congressional District as Democrats try to take over a seat long held by a Republican.
The Democratic primary Tuesday came down to a close race between state Rep. Jon Hoadley and Jen Richardson but Hoadley ultimately won the chance to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, who has represented southwest Michigan in Congress since 1987.
“A lot of people are seeing that they don’t like the direction that the country is going and they need a change in the direction of our country and that also means a change in many of our elected leaders,” Hoadley told News 8 the day after the election.
Upton said he has proven he can make a real impact through bipartisan legislation.
“Let’s sit down, hunker down, figure out where it is that we need to go and work together on behalf of the American people. That is me. That’s the problem solvers, that’s the no labels group, that’s the group that I associate with on both sides of the aisle,” Upton said.
Hoadley said he also has a track record of working across the aisle in the state Legislature for five years, saying he can bring people together.
“We’re running a campaign that welcomes everybody. That means Republicans, that means independents who often times don’t feel like they have a place in primaries. It means Democrats who want to see a change for our community,” Hoadley said.
Campaigning has been very different during the coronavirus pandemic but Upton believes his message will continue to connect with voters.
“Working from your side porch, working the phones, doing all the different things you do versus being in a parade or talking to people at the county fair,” he said. “It’s a whole different atmosphere, that’s for sure, but at the end we had the voters’ support and we’re glad to move to the next step.”
Both candidates are expecting a lot of voter participation in the general election and spoke favorably of increased absentee voting in the primary.