I'm a progressive, Pro-Choice democratic candidate in Michigan's 5th U.S. Congressional district primary.

My volunteers, my family and I worked hard for months knocking on doors across the district to generate the signatures need to get on the ballot.  

Our filing deadline was Tuesday, May 11th. I was proud of what we accomplished because my campaign is grassroots and doesn't have hundreds of thousands of dollars from special interest groups.  But one phone call on Wednesday.. pissed me off!!

I am determined to stay in the primary race despite a request by Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer to drop out of the race.

Just 24 hours after filing, Chairman Brewer told me on Wednesday afternoon that he wanted to avoid a primary race in the 5th district to protect “a long-term congressman”.

I bluntly and quickly told Brewer he would not drop out of the race because the voters of Bay, Saginaw, Genesee and Tuscola counties get to pick the candidate, not the party.

Mr. Kildee is an Anti-Choice blue dog democrat.  He receives a "0" from Naral.  He's voted against a litany of Pro-Choice issues during his 34 year career.  

A woman 51 years-old and younger in Genesee county has never had the chance to vote for a Pro-Choice candidate.  

I am disappointed at the audacity of the Democratic Party leadership.   I understand the leadership is scared because so many career politicians are losing or retiring, but there’s a reason that is happening.  It’s time for new ideas and a fresh perspective on our issues.

I asked Brewer if he was also going to call Congressman Kildee and ask him to retire so as to ensure an easy primary victory for me.  Brewer, who opened the conversation by saying he must stay neutral during the primary, eventually said he would have the same conversation with Dale Kildee.

Mr. Kildee said months ago that this seat was not his, but belonged to the voters.  Apparently, the thinking about who gets to pick the primary winner in Michigan’s 5th district has changed.

Originally posted to Withers2010 on Fri May 14, 2010 at 01:50 PM PDT.

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