Auto Bailout Chief of Staff to Run Against Trott

Haley Stevens calls incumbent ‘out of touch,’ wants to ‘bring people together’ in Washington

A spokesman for Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., called challenger Haley Stevens a “carpetbagger.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Haley Stevens, who was chief of staff for the Obama administration’s auto bailout, announced Thursday that she’ll challenge Michigan Republican Rep. Dave Trott next year.

Trott appears “out of touch,” Stevens told the Detroit News, and there is a general “dysfunction” in Congress.

“I do think that causes a lack of willingness to listen and to collaborate,” she said. “My entire career I have collaborated. I’ve worked together with people from industry and academia, bringing people together, and I think that’s what Washington needs.”

Stevens worked under auto czar Steve Rattner, who called her “our energetic young chief of staff” in a first-person account he wrote for Fortune Magazine.

“I always told people it was like running into work every day with a small cup of water trying to put out a fire because of what was taking place," Stevens told the newspaper.

Stevens also worked on both President Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, something Trott spokesman Stu Sandler used to dismiss Stevens’ candidacy.

“Staffers from Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign are going around the country in search of congressional races, so it’s not surprising that a carpetbagger has come to Michigan,” he said.

A spokesperson for Stevens said that Stevens didn't work on Clinton's 2016 campaign, just her 2008 run.

But Stevens, who is a native of Rochester Hills, said despite working in Washington and Chicago, she considers Michigan home.

“This is my home, and I’m not going to let anyone else say otherwise,” she said.

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