The Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District stands to give Republicans a run for their money.
In news from the Bobby McKenzie campaign, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has placed McKenzie on its Jumpstart program, according to MIRS.
The DCCC began the Jumpstart program (PDF) this year to give what it considers “top-tier” candidates early financial, communications, operational and strategic support.
McKenzie, a former counterterrorism official with the U.S. State Department, brings the total of Michigan Congressional candidates in the program to three. He joins Jerry Cannon (MI-01) and Pam Byrnes (MI-07).
Clearly the DCCC sees Michigan as a state with the potential to win some House seats. Although Michigan’s 11th Congressional District has a 55 percent Republican base per MIRS, McKenzie is a strong contender, made even stronger with the DCCC’s support.
Right now, the Republican challengers are incumbent Kerry Bentivolio — who Roll Call named one of the 10 most vulnerable members of Congress in 2014 — and foreclosure vulture Dave Trott, who has profited from the suffering of Michiganders losing their homes ever since the housing market meltdown.
McKenzie is building his campaign around issues of importance to Michiganders, making the economy a top priority. He’s also focused on protecting Medicare and pensions, creating opportunities for young adults who want to stay in Michigan after college, strengthening national security and taking care of veterans. He’s been meeting with elected officials, business owners and citizens across the 11th Congressional District as he ramps up his campaign.
What’s Rep. Bentivolio been up to lately? He’s frantically introducing bills in an effort to seem relevant. He’s a co-sponsor of the Knife Owners’ Protection Act — being couched as a Second Amendment Issue — and he’s introduced the Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act of 2013 which is really just another anti-Obamacare witch hunt.
While Rep. Bentivolio has relentlessly pursued his “dream” of bringing down President Obama or wasted taxpayers’ money on crusades against “big government,” Trott has kept a relatively low profile. He’s running as a “job creator,” but what’s his plan? So far, his experience seems to be creating jobs at his law firm, Trott & Trott, through success built on the misfortune of others. His website was down as of this writing, but a quick review of his social media feeds shows Trott bashing Obamacare, raising money, recruiting volunteers, going to holiday parties — and posing for photos with the likes of Senator Rand Paul.
During his fumbled visit to Detroit, Senator Paul opened the Michigan Republican Party’s African American outreach office to a largely white audience. Given the scathing response to Senator Paul’s visit, reported here by Eclectablog’s fearless leader Chris Savage and picked up by national media including the Huffington Post and Rachel Maddow, Trott may want to think twice about the people he associates with if he wants to gain the broad support of Michigan voters.
On second thought, Trott should keep doing what he’s doing right now. So should Rep. Bentivolio.
Because while the Republicans goof around, Democrat Bobby McKenzie is taking his campaign seriously.
[Photo courtesy of Bobby McKenzie for Congress.]