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Peters, Clarke run in the 14th

Hansen Clarke and Gary Peters

By Marcus Wright
Special to the Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — Congressman Hansen Clarke and Congressman Gary Peters are running for the 14th Congressional seat along with Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence and three others. Remapped so that at least one Democrat will lose a seat in Congress, the new 14th is an oddly shaped map that extends through the Grosse Pointes, Detroit, Hamtramck, Southfield, Oak Park, Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield and Keego Harbor. Two incumbents, displaced by redistricting, will face-off.

Hansen Clarke

Clarke, 55, began his political career in the Michigan House of Representatives in 1990. He ran and won the race for state Senate in 2003 and was elected to Congress in 2011. He’s a native Detroiter.

Clarke said tax reform is required to help the city of Detroit become solvent. He said he would lower the tax rate and broaden the taxpayer base. “I’d fight to reduce capital gains taxes for targeted investments within the city of Detroit,” Clarke said. “Reinvest Detroit’s federal taxes into the city. Cut corporate subsidies and giveaways and allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for those making more than $250,000.”

Clarke said he is concerned about the number of young Black men imprisoned. “I was born and raised in Detroit and see the consequences of our out-of-control prison system first hand,” Clarke said. “I’ve seen folks with good hearts and great potential incarcerated for petty crimes and thrust into a vicious cycle of joblessness, hopelessness and then continued crime.”

Clarke said he is working with colleagues from both parties to pass legislation and secure resources to address this issue. “I strongly advocate allocating more resources to public education and less to supporting a system of mass incarceration for nonviolent offenders,” Clarke said. “For the sake of our communities, our young people and our nation’s fiscal situation, I support and fight for sensible reform.”

Gary Peters

Peters, 53, is a former Michigan lottery commissioner and state senator and presently represents Michigan’s 9th Congressional District. Peters said he opposes efforts to take power away from local elected officials who are accountable to the voters they represent. He spearheaded reversal of the Pontiac emergency manager’s decision to have Oakland County administer Pontiac’s Community Development Block Grant Funds, resulting in Pontiac receiving $700,000 per year more than under the EM’s plan.

Another issue near the top of Peter’s to-do list is tax reform. He said he would simplify the tax code, push through legislation to go after offshore tax havens and, like most Democrats, let Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest.

Regarding foreign affairs, Peters said he is disappointed with the slow pace of withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. “We need to decrease reliance on large troop deployments,” Peters said. “We should unequivocally support efforts on nuclear non-proliferations and reduction of the number of nuclear warheads overseas.”

Peters said he would like to see Detroit and the region’s economy strengthened by making investments in infrastructure and transit projects. Peters also said he supports assistance to small businesses. He won his last re-election after campaigning on his own work with small businesses. He had helped write legislation that allocated money that allowed states to strengthen loan programs for small businesses.

Peters voted for the Affordable Care Act. “It’s a first step toward expanding access to care, improving health care for everyone and controlling health care costs,” Peters said.

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