Democrat withdraws from 4th Congressional District race, lends support to Alma practitioner


Democrat John Barker dropped out of the 4th Congressional District race Monday to lend his support to Alma resident Jeff Holmes.

Barker, a former Union Township supervisor, announced on his campaign’s Facebook page that he is ending his campaign to support Holmes, a family practitioner from Alma who announced he was running this weekend.

“Dr. Holmes has seen the devastation of education and health care policies first hand and he speaks eloquently about the need to oppose Republican policies in those areas,” Barker said in a statement. “It is refreshing to hear a doctor speak passionately about the need for access for all people to health care and the need to provide birth control and pregnancy termination when needed.”

Holmes must collect 1,000 signatures by April 22 to be put on the Democratic primary ballot.

He faces an uphill battle to win the seat, which is considered one of the safest for Republicans in the state. It is held by U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, who announced this month he will retire at the end of his term.

The 4th Congressional District as it stands contains parts of 15 counties in Michigan, including Isabella County. While the boundaries of the district have changed numerous times since, no Democrat has won the seat since 1932.

Republican candidate Peter Konetchy said Monday he filed 1,300 signatures to the Secretary of State in order to appear on the GOP ballot.

State Sen. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, also announced this month he would run for Camp’s seat.


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