Former Michigan Senator Carl Levin has thrown his support behind Elissa Slotkin in her effort to become the first Democrat to represent the 8th District in nearly 20 years.

On Tuesday, Levin and Slotkin held an open discussion in Detroit on national security topics, including President Trump’s recent press conference with Russian President Putin. Senator Levin offered his endorsement of Slotkin, a former CIA analyst who served three tours in Iraq and at the Pentagon under both the Bush and Obama administrations. Levin, who served as Michigan senator from 1979 to 2015, said he was proud to endorse Slotkin and thought she would “bring a point of view that is based on experience, and a point of view which I believe will contribute significantly to the national security of our country, of our state.” He added that Slotkin’s background could help to bring defense sector jobs back to Michigan, by giving, “a boost when it comes to getting defense contracts to the state of Michigan.”

Levin also used the event to comment on the ongoing criticism of President Trump’s recent press conference with Russian President Putin. “We can and should disagree on issues in this country,” Levin said. “But for the President of the United States, standing next to a Russian dictator who has engaged in activities which are deeply inconsistent with what we believe in and stand for... it’s something which has to be checked in any way we possibly can.”

Slotkin of Holly is running against Chris Smith of East Lansing for the Democratic nomination in the August 7th primary. Incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Bishop of Rochester Hills is being challenged in the GOP primary by Lokesh Kumar of Lansing. (JK)