The battle lines are really heating up on the western side of the state as former Oakland County Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin shifts her sights and talents to Lansing and the new 7th district due to redistricting. Slotkin, a Democrat currently in her second term representing Rochester, Rochester Hills, Holly and other northern Oakland communities as well as Livingston and Ingham counties, is a former CIA operative who did three tours of duty in Iraq, followed by stints at the Pentagon and Department of Defense under former Presidents Bush and Obama. Her Republican opponent, state Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte), is an Army veteran who served in Iraq, Kuwait, Guatanamo Bay and the DMZ. In 2021, he proudly earned the most conservative voting record in the state Senate. After Slotkin voted to approve tax subsidies which will make possible a new General Motors electric car battery plant in the district, Barrett voted against the deal five times – and they’re both using their votes to their own advantage. Barrett is calling Slotkin a “Queen of Corporate Welfare,” in emails, asserting that “incentives don’t work.” Slotkin, who since her first race has disavowed money from corporate PACs in fundraising, slapped back, stating, “While Slotkin was pressing to pass the CHIPS Act and keep manufacturing in Michigan, Barrett was voting against a new manufacturing plant and thousands of good-paying jobs in his own backyard,” noting the legislation will “support 5,000 good-paying auto jobs in mid-Michigan.” However, she did point out that the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity (AFP) PAC invested $71,000 into the race for Michigan’s 7th congressional district to aid Tom Barrett, part of six figures in new spending. As an FYI, in 2018, Barrett voted to allow PACs and dark money organizations to hide their donors from the government and public disclosure, part of anti-transparency bills around the country pushed by AFP.