HLN 'CNN Headline News' TV Show Panel, TCA Winter Press Tour, Los Angeles, USA - 11 Feb 2019

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Hill Harper is looking to add another title to his resume: U.S. Senator.

The CSI: NY and The Good Doctor star has announced that he is running for the Democratic nomination for Michigan’s open Senate seat, challenging longtime State Representative Elissa Slotkin for the nomination.

Harper is now the sixth Democratic candidate to enter the race to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who announced in January that she will not seek a fifth term.

Harper, who was born in Iowa, has planted roots in the Wolverine State in recent years. In addition to his work as an actor, activist and author, he’s also the owner of Roasting Plant Coffee in Downtown Detroit. He moved to the city back in 2018.

Speaking to The Detroit News, Harper says that the Senate needs a “richness” of diversity, including life experience, and that he hopes to fill that void.

“People want to see themselves reflected in their representation, and right now Michiganders don’t feel that way about their Washington, D.C., representation,” Harper said.

“There’s a high degree of frustration by a lot of Democrats ― not just African-American Democrats in Michigan ― that for the first time in 57 years Michigan does not have a Black Democratic representative in Congress. And that is going backwards. I think that that folks want to see real people-powered representation over big-donor, establishment representation.”

If elected, Harper would be a member of an exclusive club of Black U.S. Senators that has been limited to just 11 people since the U.S. Senate was formed nearly 235 years ago.

Harper is the latest Black person to announce their candidacy for U.S. Senate in the 2024 election.

Last month, Lisa Blunt Rochester — a 61-year-old congresswoman from Delaware first elected in 2017 — threw her hat in the ring by confirming she would indeed run for Sen. Thomas Carper’s seat after the incumbent announced his upcoming retirement at the end of his term.

If elected, Blunt Rochester would be the first woman and first Black U.S. Senator in Delaware history.

At least three other Black women who are currently running for Senate seats — U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee of California, Maryland politician Angela Alsobrooks, and Michigan Board of Education President Pamela Pugh — are not as heavily favored as Blunt Rochester and face relative uphill battles to win their respective Democratic nominations.

In Texas, former U.S. Rep. Colin Allred has raised more than $6 million in the two months since he announced his campaign for U.S. Senate in an effort to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz.

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, former North Carolina Supreme Court Judge Cheri Beasley, and former Florida Rep. Val Demings all lost their bids for the U.S. Senate last year.


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With Michigan Bid, Hill Harper Joins Growing Number Of Black People Running For US Senate In 2024  was originally published on