POLITICS

Democratic Congressman Gary Peters Defeats Terri Lynn Land In Michigan Senate Race

Congressman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) defeated Republican Terri Lynn Land in Michigan's Senate race Tuesday. Peters will replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin, a fellow Democrat.

Peters is serving his third term in the U.S. House and currently represents Michigan's 14th District, which covers parts of Detroit and the metropolitan area. He sits on the House Committee on Financial Services. He has mostly adhered to party line, though the Detroit News, in a rare endorsement for a Democrat, notes he has crossed the aisle to cast several pro-business votes.

Peters, who worked in the financial industry before entering politics, has drawn attention for his involvement in environmental causes. He's a supporter of small businesses and the American auto industry. He was one of the few Democratic candidates who didn't shy away from President Barack Obama and his low approval rating ahead of the midterm elections. (The two campaigned together in Detroit this weekend.)

Land made a name for herself as Michigan's secretary of state and seemed poised to be a significant challenger early on, but she ran a faltering and often bewildering campaign, rarely speaking publicly. In a memorable encounter with media in the spring, she told reporters "I can't do this" while answering a few questions after speaking at a forum.

Though Land briefly held a small lead on Peters, Peters went into Tuesday's election nearly 12 points ahead of his opponent, according to a HuffPost Pollster model.

Voters never had a chance to weigh Peters' and Land's differences in a debate, because the candidates were unable to come to an agreement about format.

Their faces, however, still appeared on TV endlessly: More than $32 million was spent on TV ads for the two candidates by the end of last month, the Lansing State Journal reports. Americans for Prosperity, backed by conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, spent more than $5 million on ads against Peters alone, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Peters' predecessor is a venerated and long-serving congressman. Levin has held office since 1979 and chairs the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

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