Michigan Voter Guide 2022: 8th Congressional District

Meet the candidates running for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District.

WDET Voter Guide

Michigan voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, for the 2022 midterm elections. One of the races on the ballot is Michigan’s redrawn 8th Congressional District. Democrat and incumbent Dan Kildee faces Republican challenger Paul Junge in this district.

Map of Michigan's 8th Congressional District
Map by Nikki Roach, WDET

Keep reading to learn the candidates’ answers to the questionnaire they received from WDET.

Jump to Dan Kildee

Jump to Paul Junge

Dan Kildee
Photo Credit: Dan White, Dan Kildee for Congress

Dan Kildee – Democrat (incumbent)

Name: Daniel T. Kildee

Age: 64

Current occupation: Member of Congress

Education: B.A., Central Michigan University

Tell us about yourself in 200 words or less.

I was born and raised in Mid Michigan and am a proud product of our public schools — where I, my wife, and our children went to school. I’ve dedicated my life to service. From my first job as a social worker helping abused children, to my time in local government, to founding a national nonprofit organization focused on reinvesting in older, industrial communities, I’ve worked to make our region and state an economically stronger and a safe place to live, work and raise a family.

In my free time, I like spending time with my two grandchildren, my three children, my wife and my family, as well as playing the drums and enjoying the outdoors.

Why are you running for Michigan’s 8th congressional district?

There’s more work for us to do to help lower prices for Michigan families and ensure that Michigan remains economically competitive in the global economy.

We’ve made progress, passing bipartisan legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to put Michiganders to work rebuilding our state’s roads, bridges and water systems. But we must continue to work to ensure that our economy works for everyone — not just those at the very top. My record demonstrates that I’m willing to work with anyone to get things done. And what I’ve been able to help get signed into law demonstrates what we can accomplish when we set aside partisanship and focus on results.

What are the top 3 priority issues that the 8th congressional district faces and what actions would you, as its representative, take regarding each of them?

I know Michiganders are seeing rising prices. That’s why my top priority has been passing legislation to lower costs on everyday items like gas, groceries and prescription drugs.

I want to build on my work to lower health care costs. This year, I was able pass a new law allowing Medicare, for the first time ever, to negotiate lower drug prices. I also capped the cost of insulin at $35 for Michigan seniors on Medicare. Now, I want to pass a cap on insulin pricing for every Michigander.

I am focused on making sure our economy works for working class families in Michigan, not just the wealthiest people or biggest corporations. That means supporting workers by fighting against unfair trade practices and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

Finally, I am committed to protecting the Great Lakes. Working with Republicans and Democrats, I have secured full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to stop invasive species like Asian carp.

What is your stance on gun reform in the U.S.?

I believe the federal government can do more to prevent senseless gun tragedies. We are not helpless — we have the power to act. In June, I voted for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation passed by Congress in nearly three decades. While this bill did not go as far as I would have hoped, it is a start, but more action is needed. I have also supported a background check on every gun sale or transfer. I have also supported efforts to ban high-capacity magazines and ban bump stocks that allow guns to be turned into automatic weapons. I have supported legislation to fund local law enforcement, including bills like the Invest to Protect Act to help reduce crime and enhance public safety by funding the recruitment, retention and training of officers in smaller police departments.

What is your stance on abortion rights?

I am the only pro-choice candidate in this race and I will protect abortion rights. I’ll always stand up for a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions. I strongly opposed the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe and strongly support Proposal 3 that would restore the individual rights Michiganders had under Roe v. Wade. My opponent would take us back to Michigan’s 1931 law that criminalizes abortion for women and doctors. My opponent supports a total abortion ban, even in the cases of rape, incest or health of the mother. I trust women, and believe that the government and politicians should not interfere with personal health care decisions.

What is your solution to fight the current inflation crisis in the U.S. and how it affects Michigan?

Inflation is a global issue, exacerbated by broken supply chains and the ongoing war in Ukraine. I believe that the federal government can do more to help provide relief to Michigan families.

To lower gas prices, I’ve taken on members of my own party to support suspending the federal gas tax, to give Michiganders an immediate tax break at the pump. I’ve also passed legislation to take on price gouging at the pump by Big Oil companies. Finally, I have pushed for both the year-round sale of cheaper, ethanol-blended gas and the expansion of consumer tax cuts for electric vehicles, to ensure these vehicles are made in Michigan by union workers.

To lower prescription drugs, I passed a new law allowing Medicare, for the first time ever, to negotiate lower drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies. I also passed a new law capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors at $2,000 a year.

I’ve written legislation to cut taxes for working families. I’ve also passed a new law, the CHIPS and Science Act, to fix our broken supply chains and help bring critical manufacturing back to Michigan from overseas like China, including for essential components used to make cars like semiconductors.

Paul Junge – Republican

Paul Junge did not respond to our questionnaire. You can find more information at Junge’s official campaign website.

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