Open congressional seats are usually rare and coveted offerings. Not so for 2018, where 29 congressmen– so far – have announced their retirements. Former state legislator Ellen Cogan Lipton (D-Huntington Woods) has thrown her hat into the ring for the 9th District, which includes Bloomfield Township, following Democrat Rep. Sander Levin’s retirement, stating, “I’m kicking off my campaign to represent MI-9 in Congress! Michigan needs new leadership, and I’m running to fight for working people, stand up to Betsy DeVos, and ensure affordable health care for all Americans.” A Harvard lawyer by training and a patent attorney prior to running for office, Lipton represented the 27th District (Huntington Woods, Royal Oak Township, Berkley, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Oak Park and Pleasant Ridge) for six years, when she was term-limited from office. She then ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in the 11th District against eventual winner Vincent Gregory. She’s joining energy executive Andy Levin, Sandy’s son, labor and employment attorney Martin Brook, state Sen. Steve Bieda (D-Warren) and Kevin Howley. Candius Stearns of Sterling Heights is the only Republican so far to have announced for the seat.