For weeks, millions of dollars poured into Michigan’s 11th District as Democratic Reps. Haley Stevens and Andy Levin faced off in a primary election.
One group affiliated with AIPAC, the United Democracy Project, spent over $3.7 million backing Stevens and blasting Levin on the airwaves. AIPAC is a pro-Israel lobby group and was criticized by other outside groups for also supporting Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election.
“My opponent has been backed by over $7 million in dark money,” Levin told NBC News NOW on Tuesday night, before NBC News had projected Stevens as the winner.
Levin also predicted that the use of dark money, or money given to groups that are not required to disclose their donors, would plague the Democratic party moving forward.
Stevens, who joined moments later and also before NBC had projected the race, waived off those concerns, instead insisting that her forward-looking ideas helped propel her to victory.
“I am focused on the future. What we have right now with the Biden-Harris administration and the Democratic House majority is a plan to deliver for working Americans,” Stevens said.
This incumbent-vs-incumbent primary was also framed as a test of the strength of the progressive wing of the Democratic party, which Levin aligned with, gaining an endorsement from Sen. Bernie Sanders, vs. the more moderate wing of the party.
“There are a lot of differences in the race and I think we need more bold progressives to get our base out and win on November 8,” Levin told Welker and Todd.
Still, Levin countered that the biggest issue facing the Democratic party was the presence of dark money.
“We are being outspent 5-to-1,” he said. “So I think, you know, the main message of this will be, that if we let money dominate our politics to that extent, that will drive the outcome rather than it being about different branches of the party.”