SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. -- Gary McDowell (D-Rudyard), 1st District Congressional candidate, recently received two important endorsements for his campaign -- one from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) and one from Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee).
NCPSSM announced on Oct. 1, 2010, its endorsement for Gary McDowell in the race for Congress in Michigan’s 1st Congressional District, highlighting his "leadership, vision and determination to fight for working families and older Americans."
In a letter to McDowell, NCPSSM President and CEO Barbara Kennelly expressed the national organization’s strong support on behalf of the organization’s politically aware and active membership:
"Our nation needs your leadership, vision and determination to fight for working families and older Americans. You earned the endorsement of the National Committee because you understand and support the critical roles that Social Security and Medicare play in the retirement and health security of our nation’s older citizens and their families. You are well-prepared to serve the needs of seniors and as your record clearly shows, you make the preservation of Social Security and Medicare a priority in office."
Social Security and Medicare have become key issues in the 1st District race, with McDowell pledging to protect the programs while Republican Dan Benishek and Independent Glenn Wilson advocate for privatization. Benishek has expressed his support for privatizing and abolishing the programs on tape numerous times, calling Social Security "a disaster," advocating for "gradually phasing out the Medicare and the Social Security plan" and clearly stating "privatizing Social Security and Medicare is the only way to do it."
McDowell, however, has emphasized his support for Social Security from the beginning of his campaign.*
"I appreciate the support of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and their many members across northern Michigan. I am absolutely committed to protecting Social Security for today’s seniors and future generations, which is why I have pledged to oppose any and all efforts to privatize Social Security, reduce benefits or raise the retirement age," McDowell said. "Social Security is a sacred trust for all Americans but it is particularly important here in Michigan's 1st Congressional District, where 26 percent of all residents receive Social Security benefits and 21 percent are on Medicare."
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare is the nation’s leading advocacy group to protect Social Security and Medicare with a goal "to protect, preserve, promote, and ensure the financial security, health, and the well being of current and future generations of maturing Americans."
Stupak endorses McDowell to succeed him in 1st District Congressional seat
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak on Sept. 30, 2010, formally announced his support for State Representative Gary McDowell (D-Rudyard) in the race to succeed him in Congress. Stupak has represented Michigan’s 1st Congressional District for the past 18 years, longer than any other congressman in the district’s history. Stupak, who plans to make campaign appearances with McDowell in October, said McDowell is the best candidate to continue the fight for northern Michigan in Congress.
"Gary McDowell is by far the best candidate to represent northern Michigan in Congress," Stupak said. "Gary is honest, trustworthy, hardworking, dedicated and determined. His experience as a farmer, UPS driver, public servant, husband, father and grandfather provide him with the experience and life skills necessary to be an effective advocate for the people of Michigan’s 1st District. Gary’s dedication and commitment to public service and his tenacity in fighting for what he believes in will serve us well in Congress.
"I have worked side by side with Gary on many issues. When Canadian sewage was polluting the St. Mary’s River and the beaches of Sugar Island, we worked together to force our Canadian counterparts to accept responsibility and take corrective action. While I fought to secure federal grants to encourage the Mascoma company to construct a cellulosic ethanol plant in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, Gary was fighting just as hard at the state level.**
"Gary has pledged to continue the fight to protect our Great Lakes, bring new businesses and jobs to our communities, preserve Social Security and Medicare, and protect the pensions and benefits our workers and veterans have earned. Gary will continue to fight for funding to construct the new Soo lock; he will work to increase investment in our roads, bridges and waterways; and he will continue to support quality education for our children and families.
"Together we have accomplished a great deal. However, much more work remains to be done. The people of northern Michigan need a strong leader who will continue to fight for us in Washington. Northern Michigan needs Gary McDowell!"
* Gary McDowell spoke about his commitment to Social Security during his visit with Houghton County Democrats last August. See our Sept. 10 article, "Gary McDowell, congressional candidate, visits Houghton County Dems."
** Read about cellulosic ethanol and the founder of Mascoma in this 2007 article from Wired Magazine. See also our 2008 posting of Michigan Tech's announcement of its partnership in the Mascoma plant near Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.