Skip to main content
Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Who’s running to replace Dan Kildee in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District?

Michigan's 8th Congressional District map
Michigan's 8th Congressional District is centered around Flint. It includes Saginaw and Bay counties, most of Genesee County and portions of Midland and Tuscola counties. (State of Michigan)
  • U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee’s pending retirement leaves an open seat in Michigan’s competitive 8th Congressional District
  • Three Republicans and three Democrats remain in the race ahead of the Aug. 6 primary elections
  • The district, which includes Flint, is considered one of the most competitive in Michigan

LANSING – U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee’s pending retirement is set to make Michigan’s 8th Congressional district race one of the most competitive in the state — and a race that draws national attention.  

The six-term Democrat won re-election by more than 10 percentage points in 2022, but his reputation may have helped him overcome trends in the district, which has grown increasingly conservative and become a target for Republicans.


The 8th Congressional District includes all of Saginaw and Bay counties, most of Genesee County and portions of Midland and Tuscola counties. It's centered around Flint, but other major cities include Saginaw, Bay City and Midland.


The district has had a narrow Democratic lean in recent presidential election results.  Among local voters, President Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by 2 percentage points in 2020, while Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 1 percentage point in 2016.

Eight major-party candidates filed required petition signatures by the April 23 deadline, but Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley subsequently withdrew and State Board of Education member Nikki Snyder was disqualified over invalid signatures, leaving three Democrats and three Republicans in the race. 

Winners of the Aug. 6 primary will square off in the Nov. 5 general election. Third parties can also nominate candidates at conventions later in the year. 


Matt Collier: Three decades after serving as Flint’s youngest mayor, Collier is mounting a political comeback by running to succeed Kildee, whom he previously worked for. Collier served as an Airborne-Ranger in the U.S. Army, and has a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, according to his campaign. "We need a government that works for us, that brings jobs back to our communities, and ensures our veterans receive the care they deserve," he said in a March statement.

Kristen McDonald Rivet: McDonald Rivet currently serves in the state Senate, representing the 3th District that includes all of Bay and Saginaw counties, as well as parts of Genesee, Midland and Tuscola counties. She previously worked in a variety of roles including as vice president of the Skillman Foundation, an education grant making organization aimed at assisting Detroit’s young people, executive director of the private education nonprofit Michigan Head Start and chief of staff for the Michigan Department of Education.

Pamela Pugh: The President of the Michigan State Board of Education, Pugh has a background in public health, including 14 years at the Saginaw County Health Department. She has a Doctorate of Public Health and Master of Science from the University of Michigan, as well as a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Florida A&M. If elected, Pugh said on her campaign website she would continue “her lifelong mission of bringing people together to confront our most pressing challenges,” which includes safeguarding abortion rights and ensuring every child has an education.



Mary Draves: Draves recently retired as the Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety at The Dow Chemical Co and now serves as a part time board member for 3E, an information technology service management company in California. In announcing her candidacy in April, Draves said more must be done to fight crime. It’s “time to take a sledgehammer to this dysfunction and lack of fiscal responsibility,” she said at the time. 

Anthony Hudson: Hudson served in the U.S. Army from 1999 to 2001 and has owned a small trucking company, according to a candidate connection survey submitted to Ballotpedia, a nonprofit encyclopedia focused on American politics. On his campaign website, Hudson lists immigration reform, increasing supplemental security income and deregulating industries such as trucking, farming and fishing as among his top priorities. 

Paul Junge: Under the administration of Former President Donald Trump, Junge was appointed to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2018 to work in external affairs. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. A former deputy district attorney turned television reporter, Junge has run in the 8th U.S. House district in each election since 2020 — both times advancing as the Republican nominee before losing in the general election. 

How impactful was this article for you?

Only donate if we've informed you about important Michigan issues

See what new members are saying about why they donated to Bridge Michigan:

  • “In order for this information to be accurate and unbiased it must be underwritten by its readers, not by special interests.” - Larry S.
  • “Not many other media sources report on the topics Bridge does.” - Susan B.
  • “Your journalism is outstanding and rare these days.” - Mark S.

If you want to ensure the future of nonpartisan, nonprofit Michigan journalism, please become a member today. You, too, will be asked why you donated and maybe we'll feature your quote next time!

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Pay with PayPal Donate Now