Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

Democrats Recruiting Gitmo Commander #MI01

Democrats are recruiting a retired Army general to challenge Benishek. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A retired Army general is close to announcing he will challenge Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich., next year, according to Democratic operatives familiar with Michigan politics.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon is considered the party’s top prospect to win the Wolverine State’s seat in the Upper Peninsula. A Michigan Democratic operative said “the party is quite hot on” the longtime military official as a recruit, and national Democratic sources concurred about the former commander of the Joint Detention Operations Group at Guantánamo Bay.

Democrats are targeting the 1st District in 2014 because they believe it is competitive. Former Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., held the seat for almost two decades before he retired in 2010. Benishek won the seat that cycle and squeaked out a second term, although Democrats came within a point of defeating him last cycle.

Cannon served in Vietnam in the late 1960s and then began a career in law enforcement in 1970, according to a local profile. Soon after, he enlisted in the National Guard and became Kalkaska County sheriff in 1987. In the last decade, Cannon served in Guantánamo Bay and Iraq.

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