Tribe leader quits US House race, seeks state post

Traverse City, Michigan (AP) April 2012

The chairman of a northern Michigan Indian tribe says he’s withdrawing from the race for Congress and instead will run for the Michigan House.

Derek Bailey of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians said he won’t seek the Democratic nomination to represent Michigan’s 1st Congressional District. He’d been moving toward a primary showdown with ex-state Rep. Gary McDowell, the party’s nominee in 2010.

McDowell is seeking a rematch with freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Ban Benishek. The sprawling 1st District includes the Upper Peninsula and part of the northern Lower Peninsula.

Bailey says he decided to switch races after supporters urged him to challenge Republican Rep. Ray Franz in the 101st state House District. That includes Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee and Mason counties.
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