Uncategorized — February 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

Adam Zemke leads in MI-55 fundraising, GOP incumbent considers switching parties


Zemke showing strong support in redistricted MI-55

Last November, I broke the news that Adam Zemke had announced his candidacy for Michigan’s 55th state House district. This district was recently reconfigured and is now strongly Democratic-leaning – it is considered to be an easy pick-up for Dems. Zemke has only one Democratic opponent at this point, Bob Davidow.

This week, Zemke announced that he had raised more money than both Davidow and the Republican incumbent Rick Olson combined.

Candidates for the legislature were required to file campaign finance reports with the Michigan Secretary of State on January 31 disclosing campaign funds raised in 2011. According to the reports, Zemke raised $20,136. Zemke spent virtually none of those funds and has $20,080 on hand as of December 31, 2011. Over 83 percent of Zemke’s contributions came from Washtenaw County residents, and none from political action committees.

Campaign finance reports show that the other Democratic candidate in the 55th District raised just $2,146 in 2011, with just over $2,000 on hand.

Rep. Rick Olson, the incumbent Republican who currently represents the 55th District, reported raising $14,944 and has $3,828 on hand – a fraction of the amount Zemke has on hand. […]

Zemke has already been endorsed by numerous community leaders, including: former Congressman Mark Schauer; Michigan Board of Education President John Austin; Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje; Ann Arbor City Councilmembers Sabra Briere, Tony Derezinski, Carsten Hohnke, Sandi Smith, Christopher Taylor, and Margie Teall; Washtenaw County Commissioners Barbara Levin Bergman, Felicia Brabec, Leah Gunn, and Yousef Rabhi; former Washtenaw County Commissioner Kristin Judge; Ann Arbor Township Supervisor Michael Moran; and Saline Mayor Pro-Tem Brian Marl.

There’s no question that Rick Olson has a very short shelf-life in the 55th district. Invariably, whenever a conversation about the redistricting comes up, the phrase “thrown under the bus” is used to describe what happened to Olson. He appears to be nearly as disliked by Republicans as he is by Democrats. He has introduced legislation unpopular with conservatives such as a bill to extend term limits of Michigan legislators and, more recently, legislation that would raise taxes on gas and increase vehicle registration fees by 67 percent.

Comically, Olson has suggested that he might switch to the Democratic Party.

“We’ll just have to see how things shape up,” he said. “I’m trying to figure out what and how to do things and no decision has been made other than an intention to run. I’ve got to talk to a lot of people.

“(Switching parties) is not something you ever want to do, but it’s an option that I need to think about in the district that I’ve been dealt.”

The crass move has conservatives disgusted and Democrats laughing out loud.

If you’d like to support Adam Zemke’s candidacy, you can sign-up to volunteer and make a donation HERE.