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(Cross-posted at Michigan Liberal and Blogging for Michigan)

Full Disclosure: I was paid to develop Mark Richardson’s campaign website. However, I’m also a volunteer for his campaign; I’m not being paid for any campaign work/promotion not directly related to developing or updating his website.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Michigan’s primary (the real one which determines our Local, State and U.S. Congressional candidates, not the absurd Presidential “primary” that caused so much of a mess back in January) is coming up in a month, on August 5th.

As a long-time and active member of the dKos community (UID: 3620, for whatever that's worth), I’ve cheered on and donated money to many candidates that others have pushed for at every level. However, I’ve only led the way (in the blogosphere) one time for a particular political cause—the Berkley Nativity Brouhaha last fall.

As you may recall, we were (thankfully) successful in that campaign—by a solid 55% / 45% margin, we were able to stop our small town from becoming the latest pawn in the “War on Christmas” silliness by stopping a city ordinance which would have required—required—a Christmas nativity creche, complete with Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph—from being placed on City Hall property.

In any event, I’d now like to ask for your assistance with a different issue: A friend of mine, Mark Richardson is running for State Representative here in Berkley. It’s a solidly Democratic district (something like 70%, I believe), but due to term limits, it’s an open seat, so whoever wins the August 5th Democratic Primary is almost guaranteed to win the general election as well.

Michigan’s 27th House District covers Ferndale, Hazel Park, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Huntington Woods and my (and Marks’) own hometown of Berkley. It has been served for the past 6 years by the fantastic Andy Meisner; unfortunately, term limits prevent him from running again. Fortunately, he’s running to be our next County Treasurer instead. Mark is hoping to continue to build on the progress that Andy has made for Michigan.

Mark spent years as an environmental attorney, representing the Sierra Club, Detroit Audobon Society and community groups/municipalities in environmental lawsuits. He spent 9 years as the Macomb County Asst. Prosecuting Attorney for Water Quality, going after environmental lawbreakers and helping protect the Great Lakes. Since 2006, he’s acted as a Macomb County felony prosecutor, and still specializes in protecting water quality. Read his full bio/background.

There are something like 5-6 people running for the Democratic nomination. Mark is currently generally considered to be running a close second to the supposed front-runner, Ellen Cogen-Lipton. To the best of my knowledge, none of the other candidates are expected to do particularly well. There hasn’t been any reliable polling of the district, however, so it’s difficult to tell.

Now, I have nothing against Ellen—she’s a patent attorney, a nice person, a friend of my brother-in-laws, and would probably do a decent job as well. Both candidates are pretty progressive on most issues. If she wins the nomination, I’ll have no problem supporting her. She’s the establishment candidate, endorsed by quite a few state party movers & shakers. She’s raised an unusually large amount of money for a state house candidate, and has been flooding mailboxes with her lit. She even did a robocall back in March, which seemed way too early to me for an August primary (then again, I despise robocalls anyway).

Mark, however, has two major advantages in my book: First, he has a lot more experience in actual policy development; secondly, he has a much more assertive personality, which is, unfortunately, a necessity in Michigan state politics. His list of endorsements is less extensive, but he is endorsed by both the local UAW and AFSCME, for those to whom union issues are important. He and a core group of dedicated volunteers have been pounding the pavement, canvassing as many homes as possible. Moneywise, he’s raised just enough to be competitive, but needs more to win.

He’s a good guy. Check out his website for all the info on Mark, the campaign, policy statements and the usual stuff:

What Mark really needs at the moment, of course, is money and volunteers. If you live in the district (or nearby), please sign up to help. Wherever you live (well, if you’re eligible, anyway), please consider donating a few bucks. At the state house level, even a few thousand dollars make a huge difference, so if only 100 Kossacks ponied up, say, $25 apiece, that would be a big help.

Thanks in advance for whatever assistance you’re able to give.

Originally posted to Brainwrap on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 09:53 AM PDT.

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