The race is heating up for southwest Michigan’s seat in Congress. Newly elected Democrat candidate, Matt Longjohn is up against incumbent, Representative Fred Upton. The two will campaign for Michigan’s 6th Congressional District, ahead of the General Election in November.

Longjohn took at the long-time Congressman’s corporate campaign contributions during an interview Wednesday.

“Transparency in campaign finance, I think, is just the beginning of what we should expect from anyone in office,” said Longjohn.

The Democrat candidate claimed the incumbent has received up to 80 percent of his campaign funds from corporate Political Action Committee (PAC) money. He called money from PACs “dark money.”

“He’s faced difficult votes. He’s faced votes on health care and the tax bill and various things like this. And if you line up his votes and you saw the people protesting on health or protesting on the tax bill, his votes went towards the interest of his corporate donors,” said Longjohn. “I don’t think that that’s something we should worry about as voters, whether our politicians are bought and paid for.”

Instead of focusing on political tactics, Upton wrote in a statement, “We must continue all working together to make Southwest Michigan a great place to live, work, and raise a family. We look forward to a tough, clean campaign contrasting our visions for the future.”

Longjohn said he quit his job as a former doctor and health care innovator to take on his campaign, competing against Upton’s 32 years as the representative.

“Health and healthcare is something everyone cares about and to be able to put forth new ideas, especially to contrast with Mr. Upton’s record in that area is something that we’re ready to do,” said Longjohn. “It became a realization to me after last year’s health care debates that someone needed to be included. Someone with a different voice, with experience with some perspective on health care and health care innovation and healthcare reform.”

Upton reminds voters he’s heading to the general election with 32 years of results.

“Our campaign reflects the common-sense, bipartisan work we’ve done and will continue to do. From improving health care, boosting our economy, preserving our Great Lakes, and more. That’s what our campaign will be focused on: the issues,” he wrote in a statement. “Lots of folks are paying attention and that’s a good thing. As always, we’re looking forward to public forums, debates, and connecting directly with voters to discuss what’s important to them.”

Michigan’s 6th Congressional District includes all of Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties and most of Allegan County.

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