Primary victories draw battle lines for November

Yesterday’s Democratic primary gave victory to 56 MEA recommended candidates and hope for the general election in November. See election results.

Close to home, several recommended candidates who are current or former MEA members won their primary and will be challenging Republicans in November: David Knezek in HD 11; Sheri Smith in HD 32; Pam Jackson in HD 39; Steve Losey in HD 51; Richard Rajkovich in HD 66; Terry Brown in HD 84; Collene Lamonte in HD 91; Stacy Erwin Oakes in HD 95; and Charles Brunner in HD 96.

Added to the list is MEA UniServ director, Jim Berryman who won in HD 57 and now goes on to challenge Republican incumbent Rep. Nancy Jenkins.

In a victory for public education, Rep. Rashida Tlaib beat out Rep. Maureen Stapleton in the new HD 6. Stapleton had received at least $40,000 in campaign support from the anti-public school group, StudentsFirst, headed by Michelle Rhee. In this legislative session, Stapleton cast her vote with Republicans on tenure legislation.

Members in HD 76 helped put write-in candidate Winnie Brinks on the ballot. She will be facing Rep. Roy Schmidt who switched his party affiliation at the last minute, and along with Speaker Jase Bolger, tried unsuccessfully to manipulate the election and keep a viable Democratic candidate from being elected.

And we now know Sen. Debbie Stabenow's opponent--Republican Pete Hoekstra. He is a former Congressman, creator of the Tea Party caucus, currently works for a D.C. lobbying company, and promotes an extreme Republican agenda that will devastate working families and the middle class.

With yesterday's primary election out of the way, the stage is set for the critical November election that will determine the fate of working families and the middle class, public education, and collective bargaining. We can't sit back and enjoy our victories for too long. Right now, November 6 is only 89 days, 2,148 hours, and 128,904 minutes--and counting--away.