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Slotkin campaigns with Rep. Liz Cheney, touts bipartisanship and national security expertise

Election 2022 Cheney Endorsement
Carlos Osorio/AP
U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., looks towards Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., as Cheney offers her support during a campaign rally, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, in East Lansing, Mich. Slotkin emphasized how a shared concern for a functioning democracy can unite Democrats and Republicans despite policy disagreements. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) hosted Republican Rep. Liz Cheney at East Lansing High School Tuesday to reinforce her pitch as a bipartisan leader for Michigan’s new 7th District.

Hundreds of community members filled into the East Lansing High gymnasium to hear Slotkin and Cheney speak.

Cheney praised Slotkin for her national security expertise and for being a disciplined member of Congress.

The former chair of the House Republican Conference says this is her first time endorsing a Democrat for office. Cheney says she’s crossing the political aisle to support Slotkin because she wants to support individuals who put the country over their political party, something she believes her party failed to do.

“We're going to look beyond partisan politics," Cheney said. "If the people in our party are not doing the job they need to do, then we're gonna vote for the people in the other party because we are Americans above all else.”

Representative Cheney endorsed Slotkin’s bid for reelection last week, calling her “a good and honorable public servant” in a press release.

Cheney is the former chair of the House Republican Conference and the vice chair of the committee investigating the January 6th insurrection. She and Slotkin both have experience in national security and serve together on the House Armed Services Committee.

Cheney, who lost her reelection bid, will cease to be a member of Congress starting next year.

Slotkin acknowledged the endorsement was unusual, given the two representatives have major policy disagreements. But she said the two came together around opposing threats to democracy in the U.S.

“There's one really, really big thing that we agree on, and that is preserving American democracy, that's the thing that all of us here and the two of us desperately, desperately love," Slotkin said.

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Arjun Thakkar
Slotkin speaks to the media after the campaign event at the East Lansing High School.

Slotkin said preserving democracy is a kitchen-table issue for voters. The representatives stressed the importance of bipartisanship and having two functioning political parties in the country.

Slotkin said she has been getting a lot of flak for the endorsement. She said she appreciated Cheney's support and thought it could matter to independently-minded voters. She also said she wasn't too concerned about alienating conservatives or progressives who might be turned off by Cheney's endorsement, because she wanted to recognize her courage.

"There has to be something more important than just playing to win every single time," Slotkin said. "And I personally think that this moment in history is one of those moments."

Slotkin is running against State Senator Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte). He held an event the same day criticizing the two congresswomen for a failure to support the armed forces.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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