Deja Vu for Tinker vs. Cohen in 9th District: She Files Awreddy 

Confirming intentions that had been known for months, Pinnacle Airlines attorney Nikki Tinker, runner-up to U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in last year's 9th District Democratic primary, has filed federal papers to run against Cohen again next year. But both Tinker and Cohen could have company in the primary: freshman state Rep. G.A. Hardaway is also said to be considering a race.

As for Tinker's challenge -- represented by The Hill, an insiders' political newsletter in D.C., as having black vs. white connotations -- Rep. Cohen had this to say to the paper: "I don't see it as being close at all....I'm afraid Ms. Tinker is not aware of how far we've come in race relations...."

Tinker, who made a late and well-funded challenge to Cohen in 2006, paid for largely by corporate donations and support from the Emily's List PAC, filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission but reported no financial contributions for the first quarter of the current cycle.

Cohen won 31 percent of the 15-candidate primary vote in 2006 and won a majority of the district's African-American vote in a three-way general election contest with independent Jake Ford and Republican Mark White.

In his term so far, Cohen has taken special pains with legislation on behalf of black voters, most recently sponsoring a House resolution putting the body on record as apologizing for slavery. Earlier this year he held a joint town meeting in the district with the legendary African-American congressman from Detroit, John Conyers, Cohen's chairman on the House Judiciary Committee.

Hardaway, whose candidacy would constitute another three-way race for Cohen, would neither confirm nor deny plans for a congressional run in 2008.

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