Stupak’s Retirement Changes Race

We heard on Friday that that the U.P.’s voice in Congress since 1993 no longer wants the job.

So now that Congressman Bart Stupak is leaving, what does that mean for his potential opponents?

Dr. Dan Benishek is a surgeon at Dickinson County Memorial Hospital and lives in Crystal Falls.

He’s running for Congress as a Republican.

Stupak’s decision took Benishek by surprise as much as anyone.

But he says he won’t let Stupak’s absence distract him from what he set out to do.

Benishek says he wanted to go to Washington to help change how it does business and cut down on what he calls frivolous spending.

He knows he has an easier time of it now, not having an incumbent to contend with.

But he says there’s a new wrinkle for him, and the other candidates already in the race, to be concerned about.

Benishek expects more people from the Lower Peninsula to toss their hats into the ring now that Stupak has bowed out, which would make the campaign harder.

At least 3 other Republicans, and a pair of Democrats, have said they’re running for Stupak’s seat.

Michigan’s 1st Congressional District covers more than 40% of the state’s land area — all of the U.P. and the northern Lower Peninsula.