Former Michigan judge launches rematch House campaign against John James

Former Michigan Judge Carl Marlinga launched a rematch bid against Rep. John James (R-Mich.) in the state’s 10th Congressional District on Thursday, after narrowly losing to James last cycle.

A former circuit court judge and prosecutor, Marlinga ran against James in November, losing to the congressman by less than a percentage point. But Republicans will be on defense this cycle as Democrats look to recapture the House, which the GOP currently controls by a slim majority.

The former judge prominently featured the issue of abortion in his statement announcing his run, underscoring how Democrats are looking to seize on an issue that galvanized its base and swing voters last cycle.

“I’ve lived in this community my entire life and John James does not represent the values of Michigan’s tenth congressional district,” Marlinga said in a statement. “I’m running for Congress to put the needs of Michiganders first, from building a stronger economy, to protecting the Great Lakes, to standing up for abortion rights, I will always fight for our community.”

He argued that James was “out of step” with the constituents and targeted the Michigan Republican over the issue of abortion.

Meanwhile, Republicans are confident that they’ll be able to defend the seat, which the nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report rates as “lean Republican.”

“Two-time loser Carl Marlinga’s aspirations for a third loss are well on their way,” Will Reinert, a spokesman for the House Republicans’ campaign arm, said in a statement. “Creepy Carl’s disgusting record of defending pedophiles and setting violent criminals loose will be on full display as voters reject him once again.”

Republicans are likely alluding to the fact that Marlinga represented a pornographer, according to the Detroit Free Press, but the news outlet also noted that he’s been involved in efforts at the state level tackling rape and assisting victims. 

Democrats only need to net five seats in order to flip the House majority next cycle.

The party is in a more vulnerable position in the Senate, where it is protecting a 51-49 majority. 

Tags Carl Marlinga John James Michigan Michigan 10th District