OK. As many of you know, I've been posting diaries about the unusual situation going on in Michigan's 8th Congressional District, where all-around wingnut Republican Mike Rogers has been in office for the past 10 years.
I'm not going to rehash the backstory in MI-08 again at this time; check this diary for the details.
The short version is this: Kande Ngalamulume--who had grown up in Lansing, Michigan, but had been living and working in Pennsylvania for several years before moving back to Lansing in order to run for Congress--filed for the Democratic nomination and ran a campaign for a few months.
Citing a lack of support and funding, he then decided to drop out of the race after the filing deadline. Since he was the only one who had filed in time, he was virtually guaranteed to be on the ballot in November, even though he had dropped out and moved back to Pennsylvania.
Lansing resident Lance Enderle decided that someone should actually face Rogers in November, and launched a last-minute, desperate write-in campaign for the Democratic nomination, which I promoted non-stop here and elsewhere in the blogosphere (Full disclosure: I'm also the campaign website developer; I'm not being paid much, but I am being paid).
Unfortunately, in spite of a flurry of last-minute activity, it just wasn't to be: Lance only garnered around 2,100 votes out of 28,000 cast in the Democratic primary, or around 7.5%.
Now, on the one hand, this sucks given how much work and effort everyone on the campaign put in (along with some help from dKos and elsewhere).
On the other hand, typical write-in campaigns are lucky to get more than 1% of the vote at best, and that's only when they have a decent amount of time and money, neither of which Lance had. For that matter, write-ins at the Congressional level are almost unheard of (I looked it up--there's only been perhaps a half-dozen successful write-in campaigns in Congressional history, and that's almost always been with much higher-profile candidates).
Lance only had about 40 days and a couple thousand dollars to scrape together his campaign.
Getting over 7% of the vote in a U.S. Congressional write-in campaign is actually pretty damned impressive, if you think about it.
Normally, this would be the end of it, right? Lance put in a good effort, but it just wasn't meant to be, and he came up short.
Since the election, there's been an important development:
After briefly flirting with the idea of jumping back into the race after all, Mr. Ngalamulume publicly announced that not only is he officially NOT running, but that--even more importantly--he is going to formally change his legal residency back to Pennsylvania, which would allow Michigans' 8th District Democratic Party to have his name removed from the November ballot, and replace him with someone else's name.
You know, someone like, say, Lance Enderle.
Yes, that's right--Lance is now very likely to be named as the Democratic Congressional Nominee for the 8th District after all!
Now, I must stress that this hasn't actually happened yet. For one thing, the various parties involved--the MI-08 Dems, the Michigan SoS office, and (I presume) the Pennsylvania SoS office, along with Lance, are all waiting for the actual paperwork to be filed. For another, it's always possible that the MI-08 powers that be will name someone else to be the replacement candidate. However, this is considered pretty unlikely, especially since, to my knowledge, Lance is the only one who's even expressed any interest in running.
The paperwork and legal processes necessary are expected to happen within the next few days. I've been holding off on posting about the situation until the process had completed. However, given the fact that every day that passes makes it that much more difficult to take on Mike Rogers, I've been given the OK to give an update on where things stand.
In the meantime, Lance needs your help to ensure that once his name is officially listed, he can get his (admittedly difficult) campaign up and running with minimal down time.
This coming weekend has a number of events--parades and other such things--that the campaign needs to retool for, and very little time to do so. To help prepare for this, we're putting together a quickie money bomb goal of $3,000 for the coming week.
As for Lance himself, I just wanted to give a taste of one of the excellent 3rd-party blogosphere stories from The Political Carnival; to wit:
I just got off the phone with a someone I could have hung out with for hours. He owns a golden retriever he calls “Dude”, he is a 6th-12th grade social studies teacher going for his masters in special ed at Michigan State, and as lay back and wickedly funny as he is, he’s dead serious about representing the people of Michigan’s 8th district.
And when I say people I mean people. Not corporations. Not BP. Not K Street. Not like Republican Mike Rogers, the incumbent, who really ought to give the HBO movie “Gasland” a little look-see.
Oh, yeah--and I can't forget the money quote:
After talking to him for quite awhile, I could easily draw parallels to Rep. Alan Grayson. IMHO, Enderle could very well become the new most dangerous man in Washington. Sort of an Alan Grayson with a James Earl Jonesish voice.
Yup. She went there.
You guys keep saying you want more Alan Graysons in Congress, right?
Now imagine Alan Grayson with Darth Vader's voice.