Harper, an actor from ‘The Good Doctor’ has never applied before. He should run to the left of Slotkin, a moderate three-term Democratic House member representing a swing district. His allies believe that Harper, who is African American, will be able to build a coalition that includes progressive and black voters. They also point to his service history on President Barack Obama’s cancer panel and his ties to potential well-heeled donors in Hollywood.
« I think Hill entering the race would be a really good thing for Michigan Democrats, » said Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton. « In my experience, coronations tend to hurt the party, while strong, competitive primaries with healthy, respectful debate about real issues tend to help. »
Some Democrats have warned that Harper’s bid isn’t a sure thing until he announces he’s running. He he had initially geared up for an April kickoff.
If Harper pulls the trigger, he’ll face an uphill climb. Slotkin was holding $2.3 million at the end of March, according to campaign financial reports. And he is expected to garner the support of much of the Democratic Party statewide and nationally. EMILY’s List, VoteVets, End Citizens United, Rep. Haley Stevens and the Michigan Building Trades Council endorsed it.
Several of Slotkin’s would-be Democratic competitors have already opted against a Senate campaign, including Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and State Senator Mallory McMorrow. Retired Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), whom Slotkin is running to replace, helped narrow it down.
Harper will also face several other Democrats who jumped in the Senate race, including Michigan State Board of Education chairman Pamela Pugh, former state representative Leslie Love, businessman Nasser Beydoun, and attorney Zack burns.
On the GOP side, State Board of Education member Nikki Snyder, former Berrien County Commissioner Ezra Scott, businessman Michael Hoover and attorney Alexandria Taylor are among those vying for the job.