Wednesday, April 21, 2010

MI-01 update - Gary McDowell is in

The neighborhood just got tougher in the 1st District. I knew there was going to be a yooper democrat running, and it's one I was hoping wasn't going to do it.  One of the best candidate the dems have just announced for Stupak's seat. From Petoskey News-Review:

A crowded 1st Congressional race is quickly becoming a stampede.Both state Rep. Gary McDowell, D-Rudyard, and state Sen. Jason Allen, R-Traverse City, are expected to make their formal announcements to run for the 1st Congressional district seat held by retiring U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Menominee.
On Tuesday, McDowell said he made the decision to run for congress after being encouraged about the decision by his family.
"I spoke to my family and many people in the district and I've come to the conclusion that I'd be the best candidate to run for the district and represent the state," McDowell said. 
McDowell, who is term-limited in the 107th House seat, previously planned to run for the 37th Senate seat held by Allen. However, with the surprise announcement that Stupak would end his 18-year tenure in the 1st District, many well-known state politicians have eyed the possibility of heading to Washington, D.C.

Gary McDowell isn't bulletproof as he voted for Granholm's tax policies, but he's still the one candidate so far that actually scares me from a geographic and ideology standpoint. He's a yooper which is a big advantage. He also showed he can win in the more Republican areas of the UP, Chippewa and Mackinac Counties. He even won Emmet County twice, normally a GOP stronghold.  He beat a state senator in Walt North (with major help from the NRA) to win this seat in 2004 after Scott Shackleton was termed out. He, like Sheltrown, can really cut into the 2nd Amendment vote in this district.

So far we have running:

Jason Allen - Not formally announced, but an agent speaking for him said he was running last week. Represents part of the district as a state senator.
Dan Benishek - Surgeon who raised some online money after the health care bill. Yooper.
Don Hooper - Frequent candidate against  Stupak. Yooper
Linda Goldthorpe - Ran in 2008 primary, Yooper
Tom Stillings - Active in tea parties, from Torch Lake

Gary McDowell
Connie Saltonstall - From Charlevoix, favorite of the "progressive" crowd
Joel Sheltrown - From West Branch. Chair of Natural Resources Committee as state rep. Strong in Northeastern Lower Penninsula.

Will there be a fourth Democrat, especially another yooper. Right now, I hope there is. Who else is running. I'll keep saying this regarding the chances of both parties in the 1st District. It is about matchups. Who matches up best against each other. Once the filings are in, I'll take a close look at them and the strengths and weakness of all of them. 


Communications guru said...

First, carpetbagger Jason Allen has to establish a residence in the 1st Congressional District, and he is currently doing that. By law he can live outside the district and still run for the seat, but he is, for political purposes, establishing a dummy and voting address in Littlefield Township in Emmet County.

Peter Bratt said...

While McDowell is in, I've heard that he'll step aside should former Democratic Rep. Pat Gagliardi decide to run (I'm betting that he will). Personally, I hope that Sheltrown will step out and stay in the State Senate race for the 36th district. He's a much stronger Democratic candidate for this seat than Neumann and stands a good chance against Moolenaar in the general. We'll see-candidates are running out of time to start gathering petitions.

Either way, Allen is not going to do that well against a Dem yooper like McDowell or Gagliardi. Can't see why the MRP isn't forcing Casperson to run for the 1st.

Dan said...

Casperson's weakness is fund-raising $$$. I still like his chances better than Allen against an eastern UP'er. Allen needs big margins in Emmet County, and McDowell will do his share.

I think Benishek may be the best chance of those running. I think Allen is much stronger in the 4th district if Camp retired.

I don't know much about Gagliardi except that he was the guy before Shackleton and ran about as strong in 96 as McDowell did in 06/08 (including Emmet County) in a similar district. They are in the same area. Same geographic disadvantage. It's been 12 years since Gagliardi held a state rep position, so the question is how well do they remember him?

The key area for the 37th is the area around Crawford/Otsego/Oscoda. Otsego is a base GOP county, Oscoda/Crawford less so. It's a different type of Republican than Midland. Sheltrown is a good candidate for that district, but so was Neumann in 02. Neumann did have a close race in 08. I don't think Moolenaar is as strong as Stamas however.

Stamas in 02 edged out Neumann in Oscoda and Crawford counties, along with the swing county of Gladwin. He won Otsego by a good enough margin. That was the difference, besides his base.