Slotkin nods to MSU students, bipartisanship after congressional race victory

Rep. Elissa Slotkin held a news conference Wednesday afternoon after her win in the early morning congressional race against Republican challenger Tom Barrett. Slotkin’s win will give her a third term in the US House of Representatives.

Barrett called Slotkin to admit after the Associated Press called after 3 a.m. Slotkin said it was a “short,” “polite,” and “very respectful” conversation.

According to OpenSecret records, the competition was the second most expensive race in the country. In all, over $37 million was spent winning Michigan’s new 7th congressional district.

“It looks like our lead is over five percentage points, so more than 20,000 votes… That’s the biggest lead we’ve ever had,” Slotkin said. “It’s a tough patch for a Democrat. And that means there’s no way we can win this race without building a very broad coalition of Democrats, Independents and Republicans, a coalition of decent, sensible, pragmatic Michiganders who still elect one person over the party.”

In counties like Clinton and Shiawassee, where Barrett won, Slotkin said she “lost better” than in previous races.

Slotkin, a former CIA analyst and Pentagon official, promoted bipartisanship throughout her campaign — and enlisted the support of Republican US Rep. Liz Cheney. Slotkin said Michiganders are fed up with dirty and toxic politics and stressed the importance of working together.

“I hope that Michigan will be the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country and that it will be the start of a declaration that partition politics will no longer cut it,” Slotkin said. “I hope that as a swing state, we sent the message very loud and clear that they are losing and will lose at the ballot box until the Republican Party nominates more reasonable and less extreme candidates.”

Hundreds of MSU students waited in an hour-long line at Brody Hall to vote Tuesday night. According to the Lansing State Journal, the last student cast his ballot after waiting until 11:30 p.m., more than three hours after polling stations officially closed.

Slotkin gave these students a “special greeting.” That turnout, she said, was the result of the same-day registration and voting actions that were on the ballot in 2018.

“Right now, we’re assuming about 3,000 students voted in yesterday’s race, which helped increase my lead significantly,” said Slotkin. “The overwhelming motivation for waiting in line for up to four hours was voting ‘yes’ to proposal 3.”

A mile away, Slotkin threw a party at the Graduate Hotel in East Lansing on election night. She chose this location to recognize and include the “great organization” of student voting on campus.

“We wanted to make sure the connection to MSU was very clear, and that meant being close to the campus and bringing our state students here to party,” Slotkin said.

Slotkin said residents are waking up to a “very different moment” today after a predicted “red wave” — a big lead of Republican victory — didn’t materialize. However, she said she awaits with “baited breath” the results of the entire Senate and House of Representatives races.

“I thank (the 7th Circuit) for being engaged citizens who care about their community and their country and for voting in the production,” Slotkin said. “And I am committed to doing everything in my power to be the principled leader you deserve.”

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