Michigan Congresswoman Haley Stevens on Tuesday defeated Congressman Andy Levin in the Democratic primary. Stevens’ victory was a resounding 59.4% to 40.6%.
Levin ran in 2018 to succeed his father, Congressman Sander Levin, in Michigan’s 9th district. He defeated Republican businesswoman Candius Stearns in the general election with 59.6% of the votes. He then ran for a second term in 2020 and defeated Republican Charles Langworthy with 57.8% of the vote.
But redistricting in Michigan has forced two democrats, Levin and Haley Stevens, from Michigan’s 11th district, to compete against each other for the same seat (Michigan’s 11th), and Levin was being massively outspent by Stevens (Michigan Democrats Might Kick ‘Anti Occupation’ Congressman Andy Levin Out of Office).
The left was outraged that AIPAC, according to rumor, spent as much as $5 million on Stevens’ campaign. It was a good investment. Levin has turned himself into the darling of the anti-Zionist Jewish left, with nasty bills such as his Two-State Solution Act, which, as he said, “Defines the United States’ role in making meaningful progress towards peace in Israel and Palestine and discourages steps that push this out of reach.”
Levin also introduced the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) Clarification Act, forcing the Trump administration to receive explicit authorization from Congress before engaging in military action against Iran. And, of course, Levin said, “I strongly support the Biden administration’s efforts to reconstitute the JCPOA, a step that would promote not just US and Israeli security, but global security.”
Stevens, on the other hand, sounded more like a traditional Democrat when she stated: “I stand alongside Israel against the BDS movement, which seeks to undermine Israel’s economy and legitimacy. Its main goal is to delegitimize Israel’s existence and inflame tensions in communities and on college campuses, which undermines the prospects for peace. At a time when anti-Israel boycotts are prevalent around the country and globe, and the Anti-Defamation League is reporting a dramatic uptick in anti-Semitic hate crimes, it is now more important than ever to stand beside Israel and oppose state-sponsored BDS.”
She also stated: “I believe in Israel’s fundamental right to self-defense. As the only democracy in the Middle East and our strongest ally in the region, Israel’s safety is paramount to our interests at home and abroad. Congress must continue to unconditionally support critical programs that help Israel upgrade its fleets in air, land, and sea, enhance the mobility of its ground forces, and continue to strengthen its missile defense capabilities.”
Levin conceded by phone around 10:30 PM on Tuesday, and added a sore loser’s note: “Unfortunately, I was also the target of a largely Republican-funded campaign set on defeating the movement I represent no matter where I ran.”
According to OpenSecrets, the AIPAC-affiliated United Democracy Project has so far spent at least $24 million in support of centrist Democratic candidates, including $4.1 million that went to Stevens.
Money well spent.
J Street released a lengthy press release following their man’s resounding defeat, focusing on the Benjamins: “It is alarming that this race, like many other Democratic primaries this cycle, was heavily impacted by the aggressive outside spending of AIPAC and its SuperPAC, the United Democracy Project. They spent nearly $5 million to target and defeat Levin, far more than was spent by any other group. While Rep. Levin is a proudly pro-Israel Jewish-American, AIPAC smeared him as ‘anti-Israel,’ ‘fringe’ and ‘hostile.’ They targeted him for holding principled, mainstream views about US diplomatic leadership in the Middle East, and for proposing legislation to help uphold Palestinian rights and secure Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people.”
“J Street remains committed to doing all that we can to represent the views of the majority of Jewish Americans and American voters. We will keep up our work to ensure that our national political and policy debate about foreign policy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rooted in honest fact, shared democratic values, and a commitment to lasting peace.”
So, now you know.