Adam Zemke announced today that he will be running as a Democrat for Michigan’s 55th House District to unseat Republican Rick Olson. The district is strongly Democratic after recent redistricting making this a very likely win for the Democrats.
Zemke ran for a seat on the Washtenaw County Commission in 2010 and lost by only 723 votes in the Republican tide that swept across the state. He is a tireless campaigner, a solid progressive and a great choice to run for this seat. I look forward to seeing him win.
At a recent legislative panel discussion at the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber’s annual Impact public policy forum, Olson earned the dubious distinction of being the only legislator who thinks Michigan is spending enough on education. Even conservative Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville agreed we don’t spend enough on education in our state. While Olson’s odd position may earn him accolades among his tea party peers, it will not sit well in this very Democratic distrct that wraps around Ann Arbor. Zemke, for the record, thinks adequate funding for our schools is a priority.
Zemke’s press release announcing his candidacy:
Adam Zemke, a fifth-generation Washtenaw County resident, announced his candidacy for State Representative in the new 55th district today. The 55th District includes the northern portions of the City of Ann Arbor, and all of Ann Arbor, Pittsfield, York, and Augusta townships.
Zemke, 28, is an engineer in the auto industry. A product of the Ann Arbor Public Schools, Zemke graduated from Pioneer High School and earned bachelor and master degrees in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University. Zemke serves on the Washtenaw County Community Action Board, is a past chair of the Western Washtenaw Democratic Club, has worked for former 55th district Representative Kathy Angerer, and is active with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Foundation to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
“I’m running for the legislature to use my experience in the community and as an engineer to craft common-sense solutions to create good-paying jobs and move Michigan forward,” said Zemke. “We need to start investing in Michigan residents because history has proven that we cannot cut our way to prosperity.”
“Michigan’s future is in a technology-driven economy which requires a top-notch educational system, but the Republican legislature is turning its back on our public schools and universities,” said Zemke. “It’s time to invest in Michigan’s residents. We need a new focus on STEM education – science, technology, engineering, and math.”
Zemke also supports investing in the State’s transportation infrastructure, especially mass transit.
“Creating a 21st Century transportation network is vital to a strong economy, but our roads and bridges are crumbling, including many in Washtenaw County,” said Zemke. “The business community, environmental groups, and organized labor are united in their support for an aggressive plan to create jobs by investing in our transportation network. As State Representative, I will work to build a strong transportation network that supports economic prosperity by investing in roads, bridges, mass transit, and other forms of green transportation.”
Zemke is pro-choice, pro-stem cell research, and supports civil rights for all Michigan residents. “As our next State Representative, I will fight for – not against – Michigan families,” said Zemke.
Zemke is challenging Rep. Rick Olson (R-York Township), who was elected in 2010 to represent the 55th District. “My opponent and I have very different visions for Michigan,” said Zemke. “Rick Olson has voted lock-step with the Republicans to slash funding for public schools and universities, against choice, against stem cell research, against access to health care for Michigan families, against civil liberties, and against common-sense environmental policies,” said Zemke.
Zemke’s emphasis on collaborative problem-solving has already attracted a long list of supporters, including: former Congressman Mark Schauer; Washtenaw County Commissioners Barbara Levin Bergman, Felicia Brabec, Leah Gunn, and Yousef Rabhi; former Washtenaw County Commissioner Kristin Judge; Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Janis Bobrin; Ann Arbor Township Supervisor Michael Moran; State of Michigan Board of Education President John Austin; Ann Arbor City Councilmembers Carsten Hohnke, Tony Derezinski, and Sandi Smith; the Michigan Democratic Party LGBT Caucus; and many community leaders in the 55th District, including Martha Darling, Doug Kelley, Sumi Kailasapathy, and Amy Seetoo.
“I am thrilled to support Adam Zemke to be Pittsfield Township’s next State Representative,” said Kristin Judge, former Washtenaw County Commissioner. “I know Adam will represent us well in Lansing because he works hard, believes in honest and transparent government, and he knows that we must invest in our people. Adam is a true public servant who has earned my support.”
You can add my name to that supporters list.