Detroit Today: Michigan’s 7th Congressional District race heats up ahead of 2024

Candidates Tom Barrett and Curtis Hertel explain why they’re running to represent Michigan’s 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Elissa Slotkin speaks in front of the Spirit of Detroit

Elissa Slotkin speaks at the Spirit of Detroit on March 2, 2023.

While still early, Michigan’s 7th Congressional District race is shaping up to be very competitive in the 2024 election cycle. There is no incumbent in this race, with current district Representative Elissa Slotkin (D) seeking to replace Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) in the U.S. Senate.

This time, Tom Barrett (R) — who lost to Slotkin in 2022 by less than 4 points — is seeking the Republican nomination in a race where former State Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. (D) has thrown his hat into the ring for the Democratic nomination. It’s a race that could serve as a temperature check on how Democrats and Republicans will perform in competitive districts across the country.

Listen: The upcoming 7th District congressional race and what it could mean for the state of Michigan.


Tom Barrett is a Republican running to represent the 7th Congressional District. He previously served in the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate, as well as in the Michigan Army National Guard.

Barrett advocates for tighter border security and protectionist foreign policy.

“We’ve seen a growing and emerging threat,” Barrett says of China.

Curtis Hertel Jr. is a Democrat running to represent the 7th District Congressional District. He previously served as a state Senator, legislative director for the Whitmer administration and was elected Ingham County Commissioner.

Hertel Jr. says that politicians need to do a better job of listening to the needs of their constituents instead of getting caught up in partisan bickering.

“What they [people] care about is their family, their family’s struggles,” says Hertel Jr.

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