Listen to interview with Lon Johnson, Michigan Democratic Chair
ESCANABA – The head of Michigan’s Democratic Party is making a swing through the Upper Peninsula.
Lon Johnson said he is talking with potential Democratic candidates to run against State Rep. Ed McBroom who represents Delta, Menominee and Dickinson Counties and State Sen. Tom Casperson who represents the central and western U.P.
“We are getting ready to build our campaigns and we are meeting with a lot of elected officers, party chairs, community leaders and walking them through our plans over the next ten months,” said Johnson.
With Republicans holding most state offices and Michigan voters mostly voting Democratic on the federal level, Johnson says they need to put a structure together that helps Democrats win.
“We have to start fighting, one, everywhere. Two, we have to start fighting earlier. And three, we have to turn out and vote. When we don’t vote, when we don’t have turnout in this state, Democrats lose,” he said.
Johnson adds that he likes the Democratic Party’s chances in November.
One candidate that he is excited about is Jerry Cannon of Fife Lake running for Congress in the 1st Congressional District. He considers Dan Benishek to be one of the most vulnerable Republicans in Congress.
Johnson was elected party chair in February 2013 when Mark Brewer withdrew from the race after 18 years as chair. Democrats were concerned at the time that they were not winning on the state level even though they win in federal elections. Johnson says that is going to change because of a simple vision.
“This is not about tearing down people. This is about what is our Democratic Party’s and our candidate’s vision for bringing forward our state and creating a place where we can stay and succeed,” Johnson said.