As of 10 p.m. on primary election night, Paul Junge is maintaining a two-to-one lead over his nearest rival in a three-way race for the Republican nomination in the newly redrawn Eighth Congressional District.
Also running in the GOP field is businessman Matthew Seely, who figured prominently in Michigan politics by resisting Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s lockdowns during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Retired businesswoman Candice Miller (no relation to the former Macomb County congresswoman) is also a candidate.
Both Seely and Miller are conservatives and committed Trump supporters.
Junge narrowly lost a challenge to incumbent Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin in 2020 in the old Eighth District.
Redistricting following the 2020 Census reconfigured the district, this time pitting Junge against veteran incumbent Democrat Congressman Dan Kildee, who faces no primary opposition.
The boundaries of the new Eighth District encompass parts of Midland, Bay, Saginaw, and Genesee counties, which would mean a major change of constituents for Kildee, if he were to win in November.
Junge is a former businessman, deputy district attorney, and television news anchor. He served in the Department of Homeland Security during the Trump administration.
Junge’s fundraising has been strong but amounts to less than half the money raised by Kildee, as of June 30.
Donald Trump did not make an endorsement in the Eighth District.
Kildee has the advantage of being a sitting congressman with a formidable campaign war chest.
The area comprising the new Eighth District went for Biden by two percentage points in 2020.
Junge, a former Californian, has a strong relationship with GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is also from California.