Lorrie Rutledge is one of nine candidates running in the Democratic primary for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Detroit, the Grosse Pointes, and Downriver.
Rutledge says she’s held various positions, from third class stationary steam engineer to small business owner.
“I run a small manufacturing company that makes natural hair products and herbal supplements,” she says.
Rutledge is the mother of two sons. She says she has spent many years living in Detroit, briefly moving out and returning to care for her parents since 2012, until after their passing.
She says she was inspired to run for office due to the ongoing health issues in the community.
“Wayne County is the sickest county in Michigan of 83 counties … I consider that the number one most pressing issue because our health affects everything else, especially during the pandemic,” she says.
Rutledge says the district is diverse.
“We have an area and I’m speaking of the Grosse Pointes that has pretty much zero poverty. And then we go to a city like Hamtramck that has almost 50% poverty and then all the other 19, 20 cities are somewhere in between.”
If elected, Rutledge would introduce what she calls the domestic Marshall Plan to tackle poverty.
“It’s a piece of legislation that was successful in Western Europe after World War Two, and I consider that to be the solution for our district and I plan to really, really push that.”
Rutledge says her diverse experiences will aid her in the job.
“I’ve held a significant number of jobs. My career has expanded across various industries. And I think that’s a plus. I wound up being a single mother of two sons, and I was able to successfully raise them. I consider that a plus because a significant number of women are single mothers in our district. And I’ve had a union job union jobs actually. So I can relate to union workers and then I can also relate to small business owners.”
Rutledge says her reference point, of living before and after the 1967 Detroit rebellion, makes her stand out as a candidate.
“I have been here all my life, and I remember the city before the riots, which is why I speak about the decades-old blight and squalor because I don’t think people realize that a lot of places in Detroit have been that way since the riots of the ’60s. So I have a vision of what life was like before that.”
Rutledge believes Detroit is an important part of Michigan.
“I think if the legislation I want to push passes, I think it’s going to have a positive impact on our entire state,” she says.
More information about Lorrie Rutledge’s campaign can be found on her website.
Listen: Lorrie Rutledge on why she’s running in the 13th Congressional District.