Michigan’s 12th Congressional District

Candidates: Democrat Debbie Dingell, Republican Jeff Jones

Libertarian Tom Bagwell, Green Party candidate Dylan Calewarts and Working Class Party candidate Gary Walkowicz will also be on the ballot.

Melissa Mason

Democratic Incumbent Debbie Dingell

Dingell served as the chair of the Wayne State University Board of Governors, was president of the General Motors Foundation and is a past chair of the Manufacturing Initiative at the American Automotive Policy Council. She serves on more than a dozen caucuses, including the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, the Peace Corps Caucus, and the Cancer Prevention Caucus, where she is the Founder and co-chair. She was named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan by Crain’s Detroit Business. Her husband is retired Congressman John Dingell of Michigan.

Dingell’s Campaign Website

Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @DebDingell

Dingell’s Campaign Website

Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @DebDingell

Republican Jeff Jones

Jones has a background in sales and marketing, and he retired in 2012. He was raised in Dearborn and lives in Taylor, with his 11 children and his wife. In 2014, he hosted the weekly radio show ‘Ethical Truth’ on Worship Center Radio. Jones is a keynote speaker and the author of Normal is Broken and The Kingdom Within Educational Support System.

Jones’s Campaign Website

Follow him on Facebook

Libertarian Tom Bagwell

Tom Bagwell has a B.S. in political science from Eastern Michigan University. He served a partial term as an Ypsilanti Township park commissioner in 2008. Bagwell was also a former executive board member of the Libertarian Party of Michigan and a former chair of the Libertarian Party of Washtenaw County.

Bagwell’s Campaign Website

Follow him on Facebook

Green Party candidate Dylan Calewarts

Calewarts lives in Ann Arbor, and works in sales. He has a B.S. in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where he was the vice president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. He says he worked as a recovery advocate in a group home, and one of his main priorities is mental health care.

Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @dylanrepsmich12

Working Class Party candidate Gary Walkowicz

Walkowicz worked for four decades at Ford Motor Co., was nominated for president of the UAW International in 2010 and 2014. He believes there should be a a ban on layoffs by any company that is making a profit and that corporate profits should be used to put people back to work. He led a fight at Ford that voted down a concessions contract in 2009.

Walkowicz’s Campaign Website

About the Voters

Population 704,700
Age Distribution: 18-34 27%%
Age Distribution: 35-59 32.8%
Age Distribution: 60+ 17.9%
Male 48.6%
Female 51.4%

White: 79.6%
Black: 10.6%
American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.3%
Asian: 5.0%
Some other race: 1.3%
Two or more: 3.3%
Hispanic or Latino: 5.5%

Foreign-born 11.2%
Education Level

Less than high school graduate: 11.1%
High school graduate: 25.9%
Some college or associate’s degree: 30.6%
Bachelor’s degree: 17.2%
Graduate or professional degree: 15.1%


Source: U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey,
2014 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates


Previous Congressional Election Results

2014 General Election 

Terry Bowman (R) - 31.32%

Debbie Dingell (D) - 65.01%

2012 General Election

Cynthia Kallgren (R) - 28.97%

John D. Dingell (D) - 67.94%


WDET’s Coverage of the 12th Congressional District


Wayne State University Communication Students Clara Ruffin and Steven Koss contributed to this coverage.

Image credit: Melissa Mason

This post is a part of 2016 Elections: Issues & Candidates.

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