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Michigan Legislative Update

Week of July 27, 2016

By Judy Augenstein

While Republican candidates in swing districts are mostly ahead of Democratic candidates when it comes to cash on hand, Democrats lead in some key seats they want to flip in 2016 in an effort to gain control of the House.  Of the 21 swing districts in 11 the Republican candidates have more cash on hand than the Democratic candidate, though in some cases there are still upcoming primaries.  In three, the candidates are essentially tied and in seven, the Democratic candidate is ahead.

Lon Johnson, the former Michigan Democratic Party chair, showed his fundraising strength this second quarter as he runs in the lst Congressional District for Congress. .  Johnson has out raised all of the Republican candidates he could face in the general election with $361,075.89 for the quarter.  In a close second is former Marine Jack Bergman running on the GOP side, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general from Watersmeet.  Senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba and Jason Allen are only $10,000 apart in fundraising for this quarter.  It is important to send your personal contribution to "Casperson For Congress", PO Box 499, Escanaba, MI 49829.  Tom is our candidate and it is important we all do our share to help get him elected so he can advocate for us in Washington!

It has been a tense year so far between Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette, with the two heading in opposite directions on a host of major issues, from Great Lakes water diversion to the Federal Clean Power Plan to teacher benefits to the Flint water crisis.  For those watching the campaign for governor in 2018, it has all the appearances of Mr Schuette looking to publicly differentiate himself from Governor Snyder, whose popularity has fallen sharply in the wake of the Flint crisis. That got more fuel last week when Mr. Schuette spoke to the Republican National Convention and gave an address about his investigation into the Flint water crisis and the need to support law enforcement as opposed to the typical rah-rah convention fodder. 

Lt. Governor Brian Calley plans to enter the GOP primary race against Mr. Schuette for the 2018 governor's race.  It is rumored that Governor Snyder will resign at the end of his term to give Lt. Governor Calley an advantage---politics in Michigan is always exciting!

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