Each week we take a look at what’s happening in Michigan politics with Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.
Earlier today, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer announced that Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown will be his running mate for the upcoming 2014 election. Brown served two terms in the state House of Representatives and has served as the Oakland County Clerk since 2012, a position long held by Republicans.
Susan Demas indicates the selection of Brown will bolster the ticket because of her name recognition with voters in Southeast Michigan and she resonates well with female voters.
“Lisa Brown...gained a lot of attention in 2012 with the debate over the controversial abortion legislation, and was known for the ‘vagina-gate’ scandal when she was not allowed to speak on the floor.”
Meanwhile, a fourth member of Michigan’s congressional delegation announced he will not seek re-election. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland), the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, will step down, along with Mike Rogers, Carl Levin and John Dingell.
Ken Sikkema says the political intransigence and polarization in Washington may have been a contributing factor in the decision of Camp to not run for re-election.
“I think what you see with Dave Camp, Mike Rogers, Carl Levin, John Dingell leaving, you have very substantive people and it’s just getting harder and harder for substantive people who want to make a difference in Washington to justify staying there because of the incredible polarization and dysfunction and it’s very difficult to get anything done.”
Both Demas and Sikkema believe that with the current retirements, Michigan’s Congressional delegation will not have the same political impact and influence, and it may take years for an incoming candidate to reclaim the same standing and clout.
--Omar Saadeh, Michigan Radio News