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A little background: I live in the same town as (current) MI-09 incumbent Democrat Gary Peters. I donated heavily to his campaigns in 2008 (when he kicked out long-time incumbent Republican Joe Knollenberg) and 2010 (when he barely survived the Red Tide to squeak out a win over teabagger "Rocky" Razkowski (yes, that's how his name was listed on the ballot). Aside from being a bit too Blue Doggy in some areas (he was one of the guys pushing hard for the Bush tax cut extension in 2010), he's been pretty solid on most of the votes that really count. Among other things, he's pushed hard to help beef up Michigan advanced automotive battery development, which makes sense given his district.

However, with the GOP takeover of everything state-wide, and the redistricting process being helpless to their whims, they gerrymandered the state specifically to squeeze Peters out of a job. They tried forcing him into challenging House legend Sandy Levin in the new 9th district, but instead, Peters decided to go for the new MI-14...which, unfortunately, meant fighting over the new district with a fellow (current) MI-13 incumbent, Hansen Clarke.

Clarke himself holds a bit of a special place in my heart because he's the guy who gave the boot to the unctuous Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (aka disgraced, corrupt former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's mother...and to the best of my knowledge, the apple didn't fall far from the tree there).

Complicating matters further is that Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence (aka our Lt. Governor candidate during Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero's ill-fated 2010 Gubernatorial run) is running for MI-14 as well. Lawrence has a few solid claims of her own: For one thing, she's the only one of the three that actually lives in the new district, though Clarke and Peters live just outside of it; for another, it'd be nice to have some more female Dems in office.

For my part, I'd be happy to see any of the three take office. I no longer have a dog in this hunt, as redistricting means that I now live in Sandy Levin's territory; any of the three should do a fine job. In any event, you have 3 Democratic primary candidates duking it out over what should be a fairly blue district. The Michigan Primary is in August. While things have started to get a bit heated, for the most part they've kept it positive, which is a good thing.

In other words, don't see this diary as necessarily being an endorsement of Peters over Clarke or Lawrence, both of whom bring a lot to the table as well (I particularly like Clarke's "student loan forgiveness" plan, and Lawrence would add another sorely-needed progressive female voice to the table; plus, mayors know what works & doesn't at the local level).

Having said that, here's what I believe is Gary Peters' first TV ad--and it's an excellent one, focusing on the GOP War on Women. While he doesn't specifically mention the recent Lisa Brown Vagina Brouhaha that stirred up so much of a kerfuffle a couple of weeks ago, he's obviously hoping to capitalize on the anger that the incident (and the horrible, draconian law that instigated it) caused:

In the interest of neutrality, however, here's direct links to all 3 candidates' websites:

Gary Peters

Hansen Clarke

Brenda Lawrence

Speaking of Lisa Brown, while I'm at it, here's a link to her campaign site for Oakland County Clerk; I'm amused to say that the Donation link not only goes to her State Rep ActBlue page (it's OK, the money from there can be legally transferred over to her County Clerk race), it actually goes to the specific "V for Victory!" page that I created:

Lisa Brown

(obviously this is just a temporary placeholder link until they get the Clerk site fully up & running, but I got a kick out of it).

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