Michigan’s 52nd State House District is a R+1 district that has been held by Democrat Gretchen Driskell for the past two election cycles. It was held briefly between 2010 and 2012 by now-MIA Republican Mark Ouimet. Before that, Democrat Pam Byrnes represented the district for four years, serving for a time as the Speaker Pro Tempore of the House.
The dominance of Democrats in this leaning-Republican district is a direct result of two things: strong Democratic candidates and almost laughably bad Republican candidates. This year is no exception.
The Republican running to replace Driskell (who is now seeking to oust GOP Congressperson Tim Walberg in the 7th Congressional District) is an affable man named Randy Clark. Affable though he may be, he is running a nearly invisible campaign. It’s not only nearly invisible, it’s clearly not being run by people with any idea of how to target voters.
Yesterday I got a mailing from Clark. You might not think that’s much to laugh about but when the Republican running for a seat is wasting money sending mailer to the home of the Chair of the Washtenaw County Democratic Party, it’s clear that he is using a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” style of campaigning. Here’s his mailer:
When you read through his list of “What makes Randy Clark a great community leader”, you would almost think he’s a Democrat. He wants to “strengthen and equalize state school funding so all kids get a good education”. He wants to “Let teachers teach” by reducing standardized testing. Why he’s even “Dedicated to a natural and clean environment”. Unlike other candidates who want an unnatural, polluted environment, I suppose.
In sharp contrast to Clark, the Democrats have a rock-solid candidate in Donna Lasinski. Lasinski, currently a member of the Ann Arbor School Board, has been a tireless campaigner. She and her team have knocked thousands upon thousands of doors and are using smart strategy to target voters most likely to turn out for her in November. You can be sure that the Chair of the Washtenaw County Republican Party is not getting political mailings from the Lasinski campaign.
While Clark’s webpage has almost nothing of substance regarding his positions (“Conservative Fiscal Approach to state budget issues”, “Maintaining the personal rights that we all enjoy in this great country”), Lasinski has her policy positions and goals spelled out in great detail.
Leaving nothing to chance, Lasinski recently told a group of canvassers at the Ann Arbor campaign office, “I don’t want to just win. I want to win BIG! We need to make this seat safe for Democrats for years to come.” She and her campaign staff and volunteers never quit contacting voters once she won her primary and their tenacity makes it very clearl that they are out to crush her largely-unknown Republican opponent.
Democrats need nine seats to regain control in the State House in Michigan and this is a seat that we must keep to ensure that happens.
To learn more about Donna Lasinski, check out her webpage HERE. While you’re at it, throw a few bucks to her campaign to make sure that she does, in fact, crush Randy Clark and make the 52nd House District a Democratic seat for years and years to come.
UPDATE: I meant to mention the fact that Clark couldn’t even be bothered to get his literature printed and sent by a Michigan-based company. Instead he went through a company called Nies based out of St. Louis, Missouri. They used a bulk mail permit issued to “YP Holdings”, formerly known as the Yellow Pages. YP Holdings is based out of Tucker, Georgia.