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Tag: Jon Stryker
It would be hard to argue that the decision by national Democrats to lure Mark Schauer away from his day job for a Congressional bid in a GOP district was a tactical misstep. Despite broken promises that the former state Senator wouldn't run for Congress in 2008, accusations of anti-Semitism, revelations that he'd lied to the press and his constituents about campaign donations from controversial oil industry figures and a state investigation into egregious campaign finance violations that recently culminated in the largest financial penalty in Michigan history, he is now, officially, Congressman Mark Schauer.
Last November Schauer unseated an incumbent Republican and is now a part of the largest Democratic majority of this generation. That's a win for the Dems, any way you cut it.
It would be similarly silly to argue, though, that Schauer's sudden absence in Lansing hasn't saddled the left with a glaring (and likely very expensive) problem at the worst conceivable time.
Michigan has been trending bluer in recent years with Democrats holding both seats in the Senate, a majority in the Congressional delegation, the Governor's office and an overwhelming numerical superiority in what was, until recently, a Republican state House. The GOP held the state Senate in 2006 by only a few thousand total votes and currently enjoys a tenuous 21-16 majority.
Control of the upper chamber after the 2010 general elections is critical since the Senate will be a major player in redrawing the state's legislative districts for the next ten years.
For this reason more than any other, conservatives at the state and national level are thrilled about the prospect of picking up a seat and an "incumbent" designation when voters go to the polls early this November.
Former state Representative and law enforcement vet Mike Nofs has already all-but sealed up the Republican nomination for a run at the 19th state Senate district while the Democrats could very likely be staring down the barrel of a drawn out primary between bitter rivals from the state House.
Nofs is a solid conservative with an impressive resume and a reputation as a bi-partisan problem solver. He's also a proven vote-getter in the one largely Democratic portion of the District, the Battle Creek area (home to Kellogg's Company). Had Schauer remained at home he likely would have faced a serious challenge from Nofs in 2010. The Republican's chances look that much better without having to worry about a seasoned incumbent.
State Democrats aren't willing to go down without a fight, though, and are expected to bring out their "big guns." Kalamazoo billionaire and gay-special-rights extremist Jon Stryker poured millions in soft money into legislative races in 2006 and 2008, purchasing monumental liberal gains in both chambers.
With an entire decade of electoral advantage on the table in the 19th this fall, he is widely expected to spend more and politic dirtier. Democrats simply can't afford this loss this year. It'd almost be enough to make a Party wish they'd done without one extra member in Congress.
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