Saturday, August 11, 2018

Guest article: Local Democrats hopeful with strong candidates for November election

By Brian Rendel *

Democrats have every reason to feel great about the coming November election. There are several signs that suggest the surge in public engagement following the 2016 election reflects ongoing commitment to involvement in our political process.

A slate of candidates to be proud of, including three amazing women, have stepped forward to empower our County Board with fresh, capable leadership.**

To get in November’s ballot, congressional candidate Matt Morgan needed about 4000 Democrats in Michigan’s 1st Congressional District to write in his name following a partisan decision over a technicality to reject his filing petition. Not only was the goal reached, but it was significantly exceeded. Well over 30,000 Democrats wrote in "Matt Morgan" despite voters getting the extra challenge of having to print small with big-tipped Sharpies. This impressive feat reflects both Matt’s organization skills and a level of passion from Democrats that we haven’t seen in some time.

Ken Summers, our candidate for the State House, has knocked more doors, walked more miles, and probably met more constituents than anyone in Michigan running for office this year, exponentially outworking and out-fundraising his opponents. Nobody is more ready to take over Scott’s work representing the 110th.***

Scott Dianda nearly matched the number of primary votes of the combined GOP candidates in the 38th State Senate District. Given Scott’s regional popularity and history of also earning some cross-over votes in general elections, this is a strong indicator that Democrats can take back this seat this fall.

There are many reasons for hope, including two wonderful State Supreme Court candidates -- Megan Cavanagh and Samuel Bagenstos -- who will bring Democratic Values back to the Court; the super-qualified candidates for Secretary of State (our friend Jocelyn Benson who literally wrote the book on the position); Attorney General (Dana Nessel, the fierce public advocate); and our friend Sen. Debbie Stabenow (whose Democratic votes blew away all the GOP primary votes combined this week).

In the most exciting primary race for governor in a long time, three strong leaders emerged, who attracted the votes of over a million passionate Democrats. Minutes after it was clear Gretchen Whitmer had won over half those votes, both Shri and Abdul strongly endorsed her and pledged to her their full support toward victory in November. She is a leader who has served the people for many years and is a leader we can proud to unite behind.

With turnout beating records going back to 1978, this is an exciting year to be an active Democrat, advancing people-focused ideals our country was founded to honor.

Inset photo: Brian Rendel. (Photo courtesy Brian Rendel)

Editor's Notes:

* Guest author Brian Rendel is vice chair of communications for the Houghton County Democratic Party.

** The three women candidates for the Houghton County Board of Commissioners are Melissa Davis, District 2; Gretchen Janssen, District 4; and Sharon A. Stoll, District 5.

*** Scott Dianda, presently 110th District State Representative, is running for the 38th District State Senate seat, soon to be vacated by Tom Casperson.

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