The chair of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians is running for Congress. Derek Bailey is expected to make a formal announcement Saturday night in Traverse City. He also plans announcements in Escanaba and Sault Ste. Marie tomorrow.
Bailey will launch his bid in the Democratic Primary for Michigan's 1st Congressional District. That pits him against former state Representative Gary McDowell for the party nomination. The winner of which faces incumbent Republican Congressman Dan Benishek in November 2012.
Bailey's Leelanau County home will be now part of the 1st District, which heads north and through the Upper Peninsula. The change is a result new political maps drawn after the most recent census.
As chairman of the Grand Traverse Band, Bailey has increased communication with the broader community. The tribe has also been party to a federal lawsuit, arguing for the closure of the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal, to keep the invasive Asian Carp out of Great Lakes waters.