The actor Hill Harper, known for his roles on “CSI: NY” and “The Good Doctor,” is reportedly considering a run for the US Senate in Michigan in 2024. This potential campaign could have significant implications for the state’s Democratic primary.
According to Politico, Harper, who resides in Detroit, is currently in the final stages of preparing for a campaign launch, which is expected to take place in the coming weeks. Sources close to Harper’s team have revealed that he has already filmed an announcement video and even ordered campaign T-shirts, indicating his seriousness about entering the race. Additionally, The Win Company, responsible for creating ads for John Fetterman’s successful Senate bid in Pennsylvania, has reportedly been involved in the production of Harper’s launch video.
While some Democratic leaders have already rallied around Rep. Elissa Slotkin for the Senate seat, which represents a moderate voice in a swing district encompassing areas surrounding Lansing and suburban regions northwest of Detroit, others within the party are advocating for a competitive primary race. With his potential entrance, Harper, who is African American, could garner substantial support from Black voters in the state’s Democratic primary, particularly in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Saginaw. Furthermore, political allies believe he has the ability to appeal to progressive voters across Michigan.
Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton expressed his belief that Harper’s entry into the race would invigorate Michigan Democrats. He argued that competitive primaries with respectful debates over substantive issues are beneficial for the party, whereas uncontested nominations can often be detrimental. If Harper decides to run, it will mark his first foray into politics, adding further intrigue to the race.
In addition to his successful film and television career, Harper is also an accomplished author, having written several bestselling books. He further diversified his portfolio in 2017 when he acquired the Roasting Plant Coffee shop located in downtown Detroit. Harper, a graduate of Brown University, first established a bond with former president Barack Obama during their time together at Harvard Law School. In 2012, Harper was appointed to the President’s Cancer Panel by Obama.
While many prominent Democratic figures declined to enter the Senate race earlier this year, there is no shortage of candidates vying for the nomination. Apart from Slotkin, other declared Democratic contenders include former state Rep. Leslie Love, businessman Nasser Beydoun, Michigan State Board of Education president Pamela Pugh, and attorney Zack Burns. Republicans also have a lineup of candidates, such as Nikki Snyder, a member of the Michigan State Board of Education; Ezra Scott, a former Berrien County Commissioner; Michael Hoover, a small business owner; and Alexandria Taylor, an attorney.
The race for the US Senate seat in Michigan is shaping up to be a dynamic and competitive contest, with Hill Harper’s potential entry adding a new dimension to the field. Democratic leaders, voters, and political observers will be closely watching as the race unfolds in the coming months.