Michigan

On the surface, Michigan may appear to be a reliably "blue state" - Democrats have won the last four presidential and last two gubernatorial elections. But one doesn't have to look very deep - just to the state legislature and local offices - to see "purple" Michigan.

Michigan's unemployment leads the nation; the state's population is shrinking and aging at an alarming rate; and the domestic auto industry is in shambles. As a result, the state budget has been decimated. The national economic turmoil has only made it worse for Michigan.

Despite legislative districts being drawn by a GOP dominated state government in 2001, Democrats managed to take majority in the state house, but not without compromising core progressive values. Republicans have controlled the state senate for more than a generation. In order to elect and sustain future leaders who will advance bold progressive policy change, the next few years are critical.

Term limits have created an environment where all the statewide offices, 30 of the 38 state senators and more than 35 of the 100 state house seats are open. Conservatives are in a dangerously close position to reclaim the majority in the state House. Because redistricting will occur next year, those elected this year will have political influence that stretches a decade.

Progressive Majority is working in Michigan to help support and build a farm team of progressive leaders committed to advancing progressive social and economic policy. Progressives have an opportunity to build long-term sustainable change in Michigan, but we need to work hard now to elect a new wave of progressive champions.

We are up and running in Michigan! Updates on our operations will be up soon, so keep checking back.

Run For Office
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Important Dates
Go to the Michigan Secretary of State website to find out important dates and filing deadlines. 
Collene Lamonte

Michigan
State Representative, District 91
2012
Challenger
http://collenelamonte.com/
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Collene ran for a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives because she has seen first-hand how the policies pushed by the Republicans have affected her neighbors, her students and her own family. A high school math and science teacher, and Michigan Education Associate member, she has watched as drastic funding cuts to education resulted in overcrowded classrooms and a lack of supplies for her students. When the economy slowed in Michigan, her husband lost a job in a tool and die shop that supplied the automotive industry. She knows the anxiety of unemployment and the heartbreak of foreclosure. The Lamontes worked hard to put their lives back together and start over again, and now Collene is helping others who are fighting the same battle.

Tony Retaskie

Michigan
State Representative, District 109
2012
Open Seat
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Tony Retaskie is running for State Representative in District 109. The focus of Tony's campaign is on young people and jobs – he’ll be an advocate for jobs in the Upper Peninsula and a strong advocate for education. His motivator is that one person can make a difference – he learned that from the 8.5 years he served on the Marquette Area Public Schools Board of Education. The success of young people is a top priority for Tony, and he has centered much of his current work on this principle. He is a founding member of the Upper Peninsula Construction Skills Challenge, a building competition for high school students, and the founder of the Industrial Trades Career Day, a hands on career fair for high school students.

Lisa Brown

Michigan
Oakland County Clerk
2012
Challenger
http://www.lisabrown4michigan.com/
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Lisa was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2008 and in June 2012, she was banned from speaking on the House floor after using the word 'vagina" in her defense of women's health. While in the House, Lisa has successfully fought to create jobs and is fighting to hold drug companies accountable for dangerous products. She is now serving the community of Oakland as County Clerk. 

Paul Caradonna

Michigan
Oakland County Commissioner, District 7
2012
Challenger
http://www.paulcaradonna.org
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Paul Caradonna is running for Oakland County Commissioner, District 7. A lifelong resident of Oakland County, Paul has dedicated many years of his life to public service. After graduating college at Oakland University, Paul enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He later earned his commission in the Michigan Army National Guard. While serving in the military, Paul earned his law degree from Wayne State University Law School. He has worked as a research attorney for two area judges.

Theresa Abed

Michigan
State Representative, District 71
2012
Challenger
http://www.theresaabed.com
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Theresa Abed is a life long Michigan resident, and has worked as a school social worker for over thirty years. She currently serves as a Eaton County Commissioner. As County Commissioner, she spearheaded the creation of the Communications Committee and fought for board and committee meetings to be held in the evenings and open to the public. She has led in increasing transparency and accessibility to local government.

Tom Boritzki

Michigan
State Representative, District 23
2012
Challenger
http://www.tomboritzki2012.com
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Tom Boritzki is running for State Representative in District 23. Tom is a former mayor of Trenton (1989-1997) and has also held leadership positions at Ford Motor Company and the UAW. He graduated from Henry Ford Community College with a millwright apprenticeship. Now retired, Tom remains active as a volunteer at Fish and Loaves Community Food Bank.

Tim Burns

Michigan
Oakland County Commissioner, District 16
2012
Challenger
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Tim Burns is running for Oakland County Commissioner, District 16. In 2006, Tim was elected to the Oakland County Commission. He served until 2010. As a commissioner, Tim championed urban growth, limiting government bureaucracy, and providing county services. He is very involved in his local community, serving as President of the Troy Community Coalition for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Tim is also host of a local television show, Oakland Connection.

Dorian Coston

Michigan
State Representative, District 40
2012
Open Seat
http://www.doriancoston4staterep.com
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Dorian Coston is running for State Representative, District 40. Dorian is a certified paralegal and works for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office Safe School Initiative. He is active in the community through coaching Girls basketball and serving as PTA Vice President. He has served as a precinct delegate, Center for Progressive Leadership Fellow, and Member of the Michigan Young Democrats.

Scott Dianda

Michigan
State Representative, District 110
2012
Challenger
http://www.votedianda.com
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At age 22, Scott Dianda purchased a retail store in Calumet from his grandfather. As a small business owner, Scott gained real world business experience including meeting a payroll, developing budgets and staying within them. During that time, he was elected as a member of the Calumet Village Council and served for three years, including as president for part of that time. After selling the business, Scott took a position with the Michigan Department of Transportation. He became more involved with the Michigan State Employees Association and was elected president of the statewide union in 2008.

 

Pam Faris

Michigan
State Representative, District 48
2012
Open Seat
http://www.elect-pam-faris-state-representative-48th-district.com
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After graduating high school, Pam Faris worked at Fisher Body while attending Mott Community College where she obtained an Associates degree. She later obtained a Bachelor's degree from Baker College. In 1989, Pam went to work in the Prosecutors office as a Case Coordinator and Jury Coordinator for Genesee County. In the court system, she was instrumental in shortening the number of days jurors are on call from two weeks to two days. When she retired she was president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 916, Chapter 10. Pam was selected to serve on the Michigan Community Service Commission, the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) and the Michigan Women's Commission.

Judith Lincoln

Michigan
State Representative, District 94
2012
Open Seat
http://www.judithlincoln.com
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Judith Lincoln is running for State Representative, District 94. Judith retired from active law practice in 2008. She worked her way up through the same law firm for 33 years, working as a legal assistant and retiring as partner. Judith has held elected offices, serving on the Saginaw Township Board of Education and the Saginaw County Commission. She is an active volunteer for many organizations in her community, including working with the Child Abuse and Neglect Council as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, the Saginaw Community Foundation, and the Saginaw County United Way.

Thomas Novak

Michigan
Kalamazoo County Commissioner, District 6
2012
Challenger
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Thomas Novak is running for Kalamazoo County Commissioner, District 6. Thomas has taught in public schools for over 20 years. For his work in education, he has been named twice as a Kalamazoo County Excellence in Education Award recipient and received the KRESA Parent Advisory Committee Certificate of Appreciation Award.

Andy Schor

Michigan
State Representative, District 68
2012
Open Seat
http://www.andyschor.com
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Andy Schor has extensive experience in government. He was elected to the Ingham County Commission in 2002 and was re-elected four times. He serves as the chair of the Finance Committee and has previously served as Chair of the Law Enforcement Committee, the County Services Committee, and the Human Services Committee. Andy currently works as Assistant Director for State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. Prior to entering public service, Andy served in numerous roles in the State Legislature and in Former Governor Jennifer Granholm’s administration.

Todd Stearn

Michigan
Oakland County Commissioner, District 14
2012
Challenger
http://www.todd2012.com
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Todd Stearn is running for Oakland County Commissioner, District 14. Todd grew up in Oakland County, where he currently owns a small business and works as a lawyer. As a small business owner, Todd knows what it takes to make payroll every two weeks and to keep a business running. He served as President of Beverly Hills Village Council for the past 10 years, where he cut spending by more than $1 million without cutbacks in services.

Winnie Brinks

Michigan
State Representative, District 76
2012
Challenger
http://www.winniebrinks.com
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Winnie Brinks is an educator, advocate, and community servant. Winnie served as Executive Director of One Way House, Inc., a non-profit that provided residential services for female offenders as an alternative to incarceration. She also worked as a Spanish teacher and owned a small web-based business. Winnie has been active in the community mobilizing parents, teachers, and community members to advocate for positive change in education. She served as the Chair of the East Grand Rapids Parent-Teacher-Student Association’s Legislative Committee. Currently, Winnie is a caseworker at The Source, a non-profit employee support organization.

Henry Yanez

Michigan
State Representative, District 25
2012
Open Seat
http://www.votehenryyanez.com
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After graduating high school, Henry Yanez became a machine tool electrician and was a member of the UAW and IBEW. In 1985, Henry heard became a member of the Troy volunteer fire department. He went on to become an emergency medical technician. Then, in 1995 Henry became a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Sterling Heights. He is a proud member of the International Association of Firefighters Local 1557. Henry is active in local politics and served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2004 and 2008.

George Brown

Michigan
City Council - Ward 4
2011
Challenger
Jackson
http://www.georgeforjackson.com
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A first time candidate, George Brown is deeply connected to his community, having lived in Jackson for fifty years.  He has served two terms on the city of Jackson Human Relations Commission, is a trained mediator for the Southeastern Michigan Dispute Resolution Center and a mentor for local youth. His deep connection to the community and the young people of Jackson City means Brown will work hard to make sure everyone's voice is heard.

Kyle DuBuc

Michigan
City Commissioner
2011
Open Seat
Royal Oak
http://www.campaignwindow.com/votekyledubuc/index.cfm
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Kyle DuBuc settled in Royal Oak with his wife, Tara, and their two children, Jackson and Hayes, after completing his service with the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. Kyle has extensive experience in the field of public policy; he is currently serving as Legislative Director for state Representative Vicki Barnett (HD-37). DuBuc's skills and experience will help guide the city through these difficult economic times while his dedication to the future of our community will ensure that the qualities that make Royal Oak a great place to live are protected.

Mamie Moore

Michigan
City Council
2011
Challenger
Highland Park
http://www.electmamiehpcouncil.vpweb.com
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Mamie Moore is the Executive Director of the non-profit Next Generation Community Organizers and a political activist.  She was not only a 2009 Center for Progressive Leadership Fellow, but served in several roles with the Obama campaign, including Obama’s Fellow for Macomb County and Wayne County’s Team Coordinator/Staging Director for Highland Park. Moore will be an effective City Council Member by tuning in with the community in which you serve; using her extensive background in community leadership; and gaining the trust of the people within the community.

Zack Stanton

Michigan
City Council
2011
Challenger
New Baltimore
http://www.zackstanton.nationbuilder.com
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Zack Stanton was born and raised in New Baltimore and has a long history of public service, serving as a 16-year-old page in the U.S. House of Representatives and as an aide to Congressmen Levin and Bonior.  As a consultant, Zack helped small businesses and non-profits become more successful. He's running to build a better community and bring energy, fresh ideas, and get New Baltimore moving again.

Tim Greimel

Michigan
State Representative - District 29
2011
Challenger
Oakland County
http://www.timgreimel.com/
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Tim Greimel is running for State Representative in District 29. Greimel is currently serving his third term as an Oakland County Commissioner and was elected twice to the Rochester School Board where he served as President. As an Oakland County Commissioner and former School Board President, he fought for families, schools, and communities.  As State Representative, Greimel will continue that fight. Greimel is dedicated to investing in the education of young people, to strengthening neighborhoods, and to empowering businesses to create jobs.

Harvey Santana

Michigan
State Representative - District 10
2010
Open Seat
Detroit
http://www.votesantana.com/
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Harvey Santana is running for State Representative in District 10. This Detroit district has crowded primary for the Democratic nomination in August. Harvey is a Navy veteran who stands out as a progressive leader. He completed the Michigan Political Leaders Program, Center for Progressive Leadership's Local Candidacy Training. Professionally, he is an urban planner and brings a unique perspective as to how to redevelop and revitalize Detroit, and urban areas across the state. Once elected, Harvey will focus on correction reform, job creation, and initiatives that help increase population in our core urban centers. At 37, Harvey will be among the youngest members in the legislature. When elected, Harvey will also be the only Puerto Rican serving in the state house and would increase the number of Latinos in the legislature.

Dian Slavens

Michigan
State Representative - District 21
2010
Incumbent
Wayne County
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Dian Slavens is running for reelection for State Representative in District 21 in Wayne County. With Dian as a candidate in 2008, Democrats surprisingly picked up this open seat. During her first term, she has been a strong progressive member of the Democratic Caucus in the Michigan House of Representatives. Before getting elected, Dian worked as a respiratory therapist for more than 20 years in Southeast Michigan hospitals; first at William Beaumont Hospital and later at Henry Ford Hospital. Her experience gave her a firsthand look at how families are hurt when they don't have access to affordable health care. Drawing on her many years as a respiratory therapist, where she witnessed the devastating and often fatal effects of secondhand smoke, Dian was also instrumental in banning smoking in most indoor places in Michigan, including bars and restaurants. Dian also is fighting for aggressive job creation strategies that take advantage of Michigan's manufacturing expertise and highly skilled workforce to help make the state a leader in advanced battery technology.

Lisa Brown

Michigan
State Representative - District 43
2010
Incumbent
Oakland County
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Lisa Brown is running for re-election for State Representative in District 43. Lisa is the first Democrat to ever represent this area which has a less than 50% DPI. Located in Oakland County, a Progressive Majority targeted county, Lisa's seat is a strategic pathway to increasing seats in the state senate down the line. Her re-election is crucial to increasing the progressivity of the state house. As a state legislator, Lisa has been a tireless advocate for public education, protecting a woman's right to choose, and prompting stem cell research.

Hoon-Yung Hopgood

Michigan
State Senate - District 8
2010
Challenger
Wayne County
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In Wayne County, MI, Hoon-Yung Hopgood is running for the Michigan State Senate in District 8. Hoon-Yung, a former state representative, will be the only Korean American in the state legislature and the first to serve in the state senate. With at least 30 of the 38 members of the senate being new next year, Hoon-Yung will be a progressive leader with the experience to take on a leadership role and be a champion for the community. At 35, Hoon-Yung is a pipeline leader who not only leads with his values, but is committed to helping elect other progressives to office.

Jim Townsend

Michigan
State House - District 26
2010
Open Seat
Oakland County
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Jim is a first time candidate for state representative in District 26 in Oakland County. This seat is open due to term limits. This legislative seat has a history of being fiercely competitive when there is no incumbent running. Having prevailed in a string progressive Democratic Primarily, Jim goes into November prepared to face off against a strong conservative. Jim embodies the type of progressive leadership Lansing needs. Jim is currently the Executive Director of the Tourism Economic Development Council leading economic development in Metro Detroit. Prior to his current role, he created the Michigan Suburban Alliance non-profit organization devoted to revitalizing and reinventing Detroit's surrounding communities. This seat is critical to Democrats controlling the state house next year.