Actor Hill Harper Announces Candidacy for Michigan Senate Seat

Savannah Pointer
By Savannah Pointer
July 11, 2023Politicsshare
Actor Hill Harper Announces Candidacy for Michigan Senate Seat
Actor Hill Harper at a Chicago fundraiser to help then President Barack Obama raise money for his re-election campaign on Jan. 11, 2012. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Actor Hill Harper announced his intention to run for the United States Senate in Michigan to replace retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) in a press release on July 10.

Harper, known for his roles on “The Good Doctor” and “How It Really Happened,” is running as a Democrat and will join a primary field that includes Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), who announced her candidacy in February and is considered a frontrunner.

“We can all feel it: D.C just isn’t getting things done for people. We need representatives who’ll take on special interests, get money out of politics, and make our government work for all of us. That’s why today, I’m announcing my campaign for U.S. Senate in Michigan,” the actor tweeted on Monday.

On his campaign website, Mr. Harper is described as an attorney, actor, and single father. His video announcement about running for the senate seat is dedicated to his adoptive son.

“You see, the world you’re growing up in doesn’t feel like it’s getting any better, it’s getting more divisive and more dangerous. When you told me you were afraid to go to school because of shootings, that’s not freedom,” Mr. Harper said in his campaign announcement video.

“Our economy works for the richest while the most vulnerable have to work even harder than ever to keep up, that’s not freedom. At the core of so much of this are too many politicians in office who don’t really care about people,” he added.

According to the press release announcing his candidacy, the foundation of Mr. Harper’s progressive campaign is social justice and economic dignity.

His platform advocates for policies that support small businesses, defend and expand workers’ rights, and guarantee that all Michigan residents have affordable access to quality healthcare.

Instead of accepting corporate PAC contributions, Mr. Harper has pledged to rely solely on grassroots donations. If elected, he would be the only union member currently serving in the United States Senate.

“Whether you drive an Uber, work in a hospital or teach in our schools, we all feel the impacts of a broken health care system, a crumbling democracy, and the urgent crisis of climate change,” Mr. Harper said.

“Without energized, bold leadership in the U.S. Senate, our state will continue to be held back from achieving our full potential. We deserve better than politics as usual, and that’s why I’m running for U.S. Senate—to be an independent voice to fight for all Michiganders, instead of just special interests and big dollar donors.”

About the Candidate

Before becoming an actor, Mr. Harper attended Brown University and Harvard Law School, an unusual background for an actor on network television.

Mr. Harper actively campaigned for former President Barack Obama and served on Mr. Obama’s Cancer Panel. Additionally, Mr. Harper has authored books aimed at empowering marginalized young individuals and established a charitable foundation providing scholarships, mentorships, and grants.

Mr. Harper was also on several diplomatic and goodwill missions, including to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in 2010, Istanbul, Turkey, and Napoli, Roma, Firenze, Bologna, Italy in 2009. The candidate also holds honorary doctoral degrees from eight colleges and universities, including Howard University.

According to the newly announced candidate’s campaign website, Mr. Harper has a goal of addressing the issues of economic security and representation in a campaign focused on the concerns of the people rather than the influence of lobbyists or wealthy donors. The candidate was raised in the Midwest by two doctors, and emphasizes the importance of public service and improving the lives of others.

Mr. Harper has presented himself as independent of the ties that dictate many candidate’s movements, claiming to be driven by a commitment to prioritize service and address the pressing challenges faced by the nation.

In his candidacy, Mr. Harper says he is seeking to offer an alternative to conventional political ambitions, emphasizing the need for authentic representation and confronting the issues that impact the people of Michigan.

The Race

Mr. Harper is the sixth Democrat to run for the seat of the retiring Stabenow. Stabenow declared in January that she would not run for a fifth term in the swing state in 2024.

Ms. Slotkin is thought to be a rising star in the Democrat party and announced her senate campaign in February of this year, asserting that her party needs a new generation of leadership.

The campaign reportedly raised more than $1 million on the first day of her campaign announcement and almost $3 million in fundraising in the second quarter.

“We need a new generation of leaders that thinks differently, works harder, and never forgets that we are *public servants*,” Ms. Slotkin tweeted.

Ms. Slotkin’s entry into the race has seemed to reassure Democrats that while they are defending twice as many seats as Republicans are, their standing in Michigan is likely safe.

While Ms. Slotkin’s Senate run is considered a likely win, it could complicate Democrat efforts to retake the House in 2024. It is unclear if anyone else can replicate the representative’s performance in one of the most competitive districts in the United States.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.