Incumbent U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens glided to an easy victory over fellow Democrat Andy Levin in Tuesday's high-profile 11th Congressional District primary in Oakland County.
As of 11 p.m., with 75 percent of the vote counted, Stevens had 62,406 votes compared to Levin's 42,043.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, and its supporters poured millions of dollars into Stevens' campaign, portraying her as an unwavering supporter of Israel. Levin was seen as being aligned with J Street, a Washington-based group whose stated mission is to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but has often been critical of Israeli policy.
"The choice in this race was clear: Congresswoman Stevens is a solid, consistent champion of the U.S.-Israel relationship while her opponent is not," AIPAC said in a statement Tuesday night. "The pro-Israel community united behind Congresswoman Stevens while her opponent embraced support from the most persistent and hostile critics of Israel."
Levin is Jewish. Stevens is not. Levin publicly stated that he was pro-Israel, but that didn’t prevent some in the Jewish community from calling him a self-loathing Jew in private conversations and texts.
Levin played up his progressive image during the campaign, talking about his concerns about the environment and labor. He attacked Stevens for taking money from AIPAC and some of its supporters, who are wealthy Republicans. He also publicly accused AIPAC of supporting scores of Republicans who supported Israel but subscribed to the “Big Lie” that Trump really won the 2020 election.
During the campaign, Stevens played up her role in helping the auto industry during the Obama administration and her fight for women's rights, including abortion.
Not everyone, even some AIPAC supporters, were totally comfortable with the organization's high-profile, heavy influence in the race, and expressed concern it could create a backlash of resentment among non-Jews. Many other Jews were proud of the role AIPAC and other Jewish organizations played in the election.
Jewish organizations also contributed heavily to Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey's bid in the 12th Congressional District to defeat Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a vocal critic of Israel. They also contributed to state Sen. Adam Hollier's race in the 13th Congressional District.
Tlaib appeared headed for victory Tuesday night. As of 11:25 p.m., it was too early to call the race with Hollier.