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Who’s running against John James in Michigan’s 10th Congressional District?

Michigan's 10th Congressional District map
Michigan's 10th Congressional District, which has a narrow Republican lean, is centered in southern Macomb County but also includes Rochester and Rochester Hills in Oakland County. (State of Michigan)
  • Republican U.S. Rep. John James won’t face a primary challenger as he seeks re-election in Michigan’s 10th Congressional District
  • Democratic field narrowed after two candidates were disqualified from ballot over invalid signatures
  • The district has a narrow Republican lean. James first won re-election two years ago by less than one percentage point. 

LANSING — Multiple Democrats are running for Congress in Michigan’s 10th District, but only one will get the chance to take on incumbent Republican Rep. John James come November. 

James first won election to the U.S. House in 2022 by less than one percentage point in what was the third congressional race in the country. He now seeks to defend this seat from a host of Democrats in one of the state’s more competitive districts. 


The 10th Congressional District comprises southern Macomb County and parts of Oakland County. Major cities include Warren, Mount Clemens, Sterling Heights, Shelby Township, Rochester and Rochester Hills.


The district has a narrow Republican lean. Former President Donald Trump beat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by just over five percentage points in 2016, but Trump only beat President Joe Biden by a single point in 2020. 

Six Democrats filed required petition signatures by the April 23 deadline, but two — Anil Kumar and Rhonda Powell — were disqualified from the ballot. Powell failed to file enough signatures, while Kumar submitted “at least 47 petition sheets showing clear indications of fraud," according to the Michigan Bureau of Elections.

The winner of the Aug. 6 primary will square off against James Nov. 5 general election. Third parties can nominate candidates at conventions later in the year. 


Emily Busch: After her teenage son survived a shooting at Oxford High School in 2021, Busch said she would run for Congress to “protect other communities from similar trauma,” according to her campaign website. Addressing gun violence is a top priority for Busch, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Indiana University and a master’s degree from Michigan State University.

Carl Marlinga: Before becoming a judge for Michigan's 16th Circuit Court, Marlinga served as the Macomb County Prosecutor for nearly four decades and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. He left the bench to run for congress in 2022, when he secured the 10th District Democratic nomination but narrowly lost to James in the general election. Running again, Marlinga lists creating jobs in advanced technologies, protecting the Great Lakes and bringing “the supply chain home from China and other communist regimes” as top priorities.

Tiffany Tilley: Tilley, of West Bloomfield Township, serves as co-vice president of the State Board of Education. She has a professional background in education and real estate development, as well as community and economic development. Tilley holds a dual bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and communications from Rochester College and a master’s in business administration from the University of Detroit Mercy. As highlighted on her campaign website, some of her top issues include criminal justice reform, gun violence prevention, protecting access to abortion and improving education accessibility.

Diane Young: Young, of Warren, began her financial planning career in New York in 1989. Upon moving back to Michigan with her family, Young opened her own financial firm in Rochester Hills in 2004. Protecting Social Security and Medicare, streamlining the country’s tax code “to give middle class families a break,” and “common sense gun safety,” are listed on Young’s campaign website as being among her top priorities. Young ran for the state House in 2016 but lost to then-Rep. Peter Lucido by more than 40 percentage points. 



John James: Before his election to Congress in 2022, James served as president of a supply-chain management company and CEO of a logistics services company based in Detroit. The Farmington Hills Republican also served in the U.S. military for eight years, leading two platoons in combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in both 2018 and 2020. Since taking office, James has sponsored bills amending the nation’s Social Security Act and on enhancing security assistance to allies tackling unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. He is vice chair of the U.S. House’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment and chairs Congress’ Subcommittee on Africa.

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