LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Former Macomb County judge and prosecutor Carl Marlinga announced Monday his campaign for a new House seat in suburban Detroit, becoming the fourth Democrat to enter the primary for what may be among Michigan’s most competitive congressional races this fall.

Judge Carl J. Marlinga | Credit: Macomb County

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Marlinga, 75, retired from the bench last month after serving nine years. He said if he is elected, he would focus on ensuring there are good-paying U.S. jobs and bringing back the supply chain from countries like China.

“I love the community and as someone who has lived in the community all my life, I understand the hopes, aspirations and challenges of the families and small businesses who are my neighbors and whom I have served for nearly 40 years,” he said in a statement.

The contest for the 10th Congressional District, which includes parts of Macomb and Oakland counties, has no incumbent after redistricting. Other Democratic candidates are ex-state lawmaker and current Sterling Heights council member Henry Yanez, Warren council member Angela Rogensues and activist Huwaida Arraf.

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The Republican candidate is businessman and Iraq War veteran John James, the party’s two-time nominee for U.S. Senate.

Marlinga was Macomb County’s elected prosecutor for 20 years until 2004, when he was charged with helping a man obtain a new rape trial in exchange for contributions to Marlinga’s failed 2002 congressional campaign. A federal jury acquitted Marlinga in 2006.

Republicans called Marlinga “corrupt” and said he cannot run for Congress because the state constitution prohibits judges from seeking a non-judicial office until one year after leaving office. Marlinga’s campaign said the provision cannot supersede the U.S. Constitution’s eligibility requirements, which include no such restriction.

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