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October 05, 1990 - Image 47

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-10-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.





Rep. Sander Levin: Running as if it were close.

Walter 0. Briggs IV: An uphill battle.

A sure bet and an underdog are running hard to win
Congressional races in the 17th and 18th Districts.


Assistant Editor


ne candidate has
little or no opposition,
and the other has an
uphill struggle.
Two politicians, two
separate general election
races and two separate
places in political time are
on the agenda. Yet when the
polls open on Nov. 6, 17th
District voters will most as-
suredly put the familiar
name of Sander Levin back
in Congress for a fifth term.
The scenario is different
over in the 18th District,
where Republican William
Broomfield has for over 30
years been a household
name. The opponent is a po-
litical newcomer who has
never held public office and
who proudly wears sneakers
as he knocks on thousands of
doors through the district.
Walter Briggs IV comes
from a family that in this
area of the country is best

known as the former owners
of the Detroit Tigers. But
this Mr. Briggs doesn't want
baseball to be the only game
for which his family is
So, like the Tigers, he is
hoping to come out of
nowhere to upset Mr.
Broomfield. Mr. Briggs,
however, doesn't have a
Cecil Fielder impact, at least
not to the point where he
could defeat a congressman
who has at times won almost
80 percent of the registered
vote. Rep. Broomfield, the
ranking Republican on the
House Foreign Affairs
Committee, defeated
challenger Gary Kohut in
both 1986 and 1988 by
margins of over 50 percent.
But the odds don't seem to
outwardly discourage Mr.
Briggs. The 33-year-old
Birmingham resident and
CPA is fighting the uphill
battle by knocking on
thousands of doors
throughout the 18th District.
He admits that his chances

of defeating an incumbent
are not great, but he also
says in the same breath that
this campaign is only the
beginning for his goal, to
wind up on Capitol Hill.
"I'm running because I
reached a point where there
were so many issues that
were concerning me, and I

"We don't want Mr.
Levin to spend the
entire campaign
time on his
brother's Senate

— Jim Alexander

just couldn't hold it back any
more," he said. "These
issues we all read about like
the huge deficit, education
and the need to improve the
environment are issues that
probably will affect my chil-
dren more than me. And I

want to make sure that my
children's future is secure."
Mr. Briggs runs his cam-
paign from a backlot office
of a Troy office park. A card-
board box with spare change
is on a table near the office
front door.
A sign says that the
change helps pay to keep the
lights on. Next to the box is
campaign literature and
Briggs for Congress buttons
with a picture of a dinosaur
with a universal circle
and cross hatch through it.
The dinosaur is in reference
to Mr. Broomfield's many
years in office. He has served
in Congress since 1956.
Mr. Briggs scoops a hand-
ful of change and spare
dollar bills into his pocket
and drives a visitor over to a
Denny's where over coffee
and juice, he talks about this
dream of his.

The clatter of dirty dishes
and beeping microwaves
acts as background music for
idealistic positions on fed-

eral budget audits and Mid-
dle East stands.
The candidate, a clean-cut
go-getter, said his sensitivity
to the security of Israel was
heightened after he married
his wife, Andrea Gilles
Briggs, who is Jewish.
"I think the United States
needs to be straight about its
role in the Mideast," he
said. "We're playing a game
that puts Israel in jeopardy
by constantly arming the
enemies of Israel. Arming
them for peace is a short-
term solution."
Mr. Briggs calls a Pales-
tinian homeland on the West
Bank or on Gaza an im-
possibility, something, he
said, that cannot even be con-
sidered if Israel is to remain
He also calls himself
staunchly pro-choice.
Mr. Briggs said he knows
he needs to at least debate
one-on-one with his oppo-
ment if he is to have a
chance. So far, a debate has
not been arranged.



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