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Who is running against Hillary Scholten in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District?

Michigan's 3rd Congressional District map
Michigan's 3rd Congressional District includes Grand Rapids and extends to coastal communities like Muskegon and Grand Haven (State of Michigan)
  • U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten faces a Democratic primary challenger in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District
  • Attorney Paul Hudson, financial advisor Michael Markey among Republicans competing to try and flip the seat
  • The district, which includes Grand Rapids, is considered one of the more competitive in Michigan

First-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten pulled a major upset when she flipped her west Michigan district blue. Now, she has to defend it. 

The 3rd Congressional District underwent a political upheaval in the 2022 cycle.


While former political maps lumped the Democratic-leaning city of Grand Rapids in with stalwart Republican areas, the current iteration extends to the Lake Michigan coastline and includes portions of Muskegon and Ottawa counties, making it far more politically competitive. 


Scholten gained an edge in 2022 when political moderate Rep. Peter Meijer lost to his more conservative primary challenger John Gibbs in the GOP primary. She beat Gibbs in the general election with 55% of the vote. 

Democratic presidential candidates have also edged out Republicans among local voters in recent election cycles. Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the district 46.9% to 46.8% in 2016, while President Joe Biden beat Trump 53% to 45% in 2020. 

Four major-party candidates filed required petition signatures to run by the April 23 deadline, including two Democrats and two Republicans. Winners of the Aug. 6 primary will square off in the Nov. 5 general election. Third parties can nominate candidates at conventions later in the year.


Hillary Scholten: Prior to winning election, Scholten worked as an immigration attorney. Her 2022 run was her second try for office — she lost to Meijer in 2020 by 6 points when the district was far more favorable to Republicans. Since joining Congress, the Grand Rapids Democrat has focused on helping families, improving K-12 and higher education and preserving reproductive rights. She serves on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the House Committee on Small Business. 

Salim Al-Shatel: The Grand Rapids resident grew up in Muskegon and has worked as a corporate sales engineer, small business owner, real estate agent and substitute teacher. He previously ran for a Grand Rapids-based state House seat, losing in the primary to sitting state Rep. Kristian Grant. According to his campaign website, Al-Shatel’s priorities include greater environmental protections, government transparency and increased investments in infrastructure, health and education.



Paul Hudson: Hudson, of East Grand Rapids, is an appellate attorney and senior partner at Miller Canfield. He is also the grandson of former Michigan State University football coach Duffy Daugherty. In 2022, he unsuccessfully ran for the Michigan Supreme Court as a Republican nominee. Hudson supports a “GPS” plan of growth, prosperity and security, calling for measures like lowering taxes and reducing government spending while raising educational standards and supporting small businesses.

Michael Markey Jr.: Markey, of Grand Haven, is a financial adviser who owns the firm Legacy Financial Network and former college baseball player. Markey attempted to run as a Republican candidate for governor in 2022, but he was one of five candidates who was disqualified from the primary ballot for submitting signatures later deemed invalid. In his campaign announcement, Markey pledged to be a “disruptor” who would tackle inflation, seek energy independence and promote free trade. 

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