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Biography

Hansen Clarke was elected to represent the 13th Congressional District of Michigan the United States House of Representatives during the 112th Congress. The district covered Detroit from the eastside down to southwest, the Grosse Pointes, Harper Woods, Ecorse, Lincoln Park, River Rouge, and Wyandotte. Congressman Clarke served on the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and as the Vice-President of the Democratic Freshman Class. He was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

  Before serving the citizens of Southeast Michigan in Congress, Hansen Clarke was elected three times to the Michigan House of Representatives and twice to the Michigan Senate.

  Born and raised in Detroit, Hansen Clarke spent most of his life on the eastside. As the son of an African-American mother and Indian father, he was exposed to diverse experiences and ways of thinking. His mother was a school crossing guard, and his father was a UAW member who worked in the Ford foundry. Hansen’s mother raised him as a single parent after his father died when Hansen was only eight years old.

  Recognizing that her son had a gift for the arts, Hansen’s mother secured private lessons for Hansen at the Detroit Institute of Arts. After graduating from Cass Technical High School, he received an art scholarship to attend Cornell University. During his time at Cornell, his mother passed away. Hansen returned to Detroit to start a business, but fell on hard times. It was a job at a local school created by an act of Congress that helped restore his hope and allowed Hansen to go back to Cornell to complete his degree in fine arts. At Cornell, he was elected to the student seat on the University Board of Trustees by campaigning to help expand opportunities for minority students to attend.

  After Cornell, Hansen Clarke attended Georgetown Law School, where he graduated with his Juris Doctorate. He then went to work for U.S. Representative John Conyers, serving as his Chief of Staff. Hansen also worked for then-Wayne County Executive Edward H.McNamara.

Hansen Clarke is married to Choi Palms-Cohen. He currently works as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Congressional Committee Assignments and Caucus Memberships- 112th Congress

Committee on Homeland Security
  • Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security
  • Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
  • Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics
  • Subcommittee on Research and Science Education
Caucus Memberships
  • Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues
  • Congressional Art Caucus
  • Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
  • Congressional Bangladesh Caucus
  • Congressional Black Caucus
  • The Democratic Caucus
  • Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus
  • Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans
  • LBGT Equality Caucus
  • Northern Border Caucus
  • Congressional Prayer Caucus
  • Congressional Robotics Caucus
  • Smart Contracting Caucus
  • Congressional Social Worker Caucus
  • Congressional Steel Caucus
  • Congressional Caucus on Turkey and Turkish Americans

 

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In The News – Hansen Clarke’s Lead Grows

Heading into August 5th, the Detroit Free Press, WXYZ Channel 7, and their statewide partners commissioned the respected polling firm EPIC-MRA to gauge the race in Michigan's 14th District. The result? Former Congressman Hansen Clarke continues to dominate the field, growing his lead to 11 points over the runner-up! Click here to read the poll.

Around the same time, another reputable Michigan polling firm, Target Insyght, released another poll following up on the one that they conducted at the end of May. Their results confirmed what we saw in the previous poll: Hansen Clarke has a strong lead over all of his challengers, with a 10 point lead over the other contenders and a 12 point lead among absentee voters! Click here to read the poll.