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More hot Washington races

May 20, 2002  •  Post A Comment

The television industry is keeping its eye on a few other important races:
* Veteran Democratic Rep. John Dingell, a key power broker on media issues, is facing a tough primary challenge in Michigan from incumbent Democrat Rep. Lynn Rivers due to a redistricting plan that pits them against each other. Rep. Dingell has raised three times as much money as Rep. Rivers and led by 8 points in a poll two months ago. But in the newly created district, Rep. Rivers is popular in the more liberal parts, such as her base of Ann Arbor. The Michigan primaries are Aug. 6.
* Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House telecommunications and Internet subcommittee, is facing a primary challenge from ultraconservative GOP State Sen. Dale Shugars. Rep. Upton has dwarfed Mr. Shugars in fund raising and is considered the front runner.
* Redistricting also has created a face-off between GOP Rep. Charles “Chip” Pickering Jr., a strong supporter of religious broadcasters, and Democratic Rep. Ronnie Shows in Mississippi. “The district is tilted in favor of Pickering,” said Amy Walter, House editor with The Cook Report, a political analysis firm that predicted the Republican would win. There also may be a sympathy vote for Rep. Pickering because the Democrats quashed the White House’s nomination of his dad, Charles Pickering Sr., to fill a seat on a federal appeals court.
* Several lesser-known New Jersey Republicans, including Douglas Forrester, a multimillionaire who nearly matched Democratic Sen. Bob Torricelli dollar for dollar in fund raising through the first quarter, have vowed to defeat the lawmaker in November. Sen. Torricelli, a proponent of lowering the already reduced rates politicians pay for television ads, has been weakened by a now-concluded investigation into his campaign finances that produced no charges, but he benefits from the lack of a well-known challenger.#