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Who is running against Debbie Dingell in Michigan’s 6th Congressional District?

Michigan's 6th Congressional District map
Michigan's 6th Congressional District, which favors Democrats, includes Ann Arbor and the rest of Washtenaw County, along with parts of Wayne and Oakland counties. (State of Michigan)
  • U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell of Ann Arbor is a strong favorite to win re-election in Michigan’s 6th Congressional District
  • One Republican challenger, Heather Smiley, filed to run against Dingell
  • The district is solidly Democratic, with local voters backing Joe Biden over Donald Trump by a wide margin in 2020

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell is the favorite for a sixth term in Congress. 

The Ann Arbor Democrat represents the 6th Congressional District, which covers Ann Arbor and the rest of Washtenaw County along with portions of western Wayne County and most of the city of Novi in Oakland County.

It is solidly Democratic: Hillary Clinton beat former President Donald Trump in the district by 21 percentage points in 2016, and President Joe Biden defeated Trump in the region by nearly 27 percentage points.


Dingell, a five-term incumbent and widow of the late U.S. Rep. John Dingell, defeated Republican challenger Whittney Williams 66% to 34% in 2022.


Dingell and Republican Heather Smiley filed required petition signatures by the April 23 deadline. Both will run unopposed in the Aug. 6 primary and go head-to-head in the Nov. 5 general election. Third parties can also nominate candidates at conventions later in the year. 


Debbie Dingell: Dingell, of Ann Arbor, has served in Congress since 2015. She moved to Ann Arbor after her longtime home of Dearborn was drawn into a different district. She is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. While in Congress, Dingell has worked on Great Lakes protection efforts as co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force and is a member of dozens of other congressional caucuses.  Before her congressional career, Dingell was an executive at General Motors Corp. and president of the GM Foundation. Her priorities include supporting manufacturing, lowering prescription drug costs, reducing gun violence and limiting domestic abusers’ access to guns. She’s well-known for her efforts to work across party lines.  



Heather Smiley: Smiley, of Riverview, is a retired Ford employee who worked for the company for 32 years in various union and salaried positions. She has also volunteered as a first responder and youth program leader. According to her campaign website, Smiley is a lifelong conservative who decided to run for office because she believes the government has “progressively gone astray.” If elected,  Smiley’s priorities include supporting law enforcement, preserving voting integrity, addressing wasteful spending and restoring border security. 

Editor’s note: This story was corrected June 21, 2024, to accurately reflect information about Heather Smiley. A previous version incorrectly attributed to her some details about a different political candidate with the same name.


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