Trevor Thomas is running for Congress in west Michigan's 3rd CD, which is mostly based in Grand Rapids and Battle Creek and has traditionally been a mainstream type of district. Before the House seat was captured last year by radical right teabagger Justin Amash it had been moderate Republican Vern Ehler's district. Long before that it has been represented by Arthur Vandenberg and, later, Jerry Ford. Amash is a bad fit for the district. But before Trevor can face him, he has to win the Democratic primary against a virulently anti-Choice, self-funding multimillionaire, Steve Pestka. Pestka will be just another hackish social conservative helping the GOP in their wars against everyone. While in the state legislature, for example, Pestka voted with the GOP to defund Planned Parenthood-- same stand as Amash. Trevor, of course, is a 100% pro-Choice candidate, like every Blue America-backed candidate.
“I’m the only candidate in this race who is pro-woman and pro-choice," he told us last week. "Just look at the record. My opponents have both voted to undermine a woman's right to choose and eliminate critical health services. I would expect that from a tea-party favorite like Rep. Amash, but a Democrat? Clearly there are folks supporting him who aren’t comfortable with me raising this as a major issue, but we’re not going to back down. There’s too much at stake in this election for women, and I am the only one who will fight for the issues that matter most to them and their families.”
Trevor learned something important-- probably many things-- when he was working for Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. She was running against billionaire Grand Rapids powerhouse Dick DeVos but even being outspent by $27 million, she beat him decisively. "Michigan voters, Trevor told me, "cannot be bought." Good to know-- but he also learned how to make dollars stretch a long way and how to leverage grassroots support against a campaign bloated with money from corporations and the one-percent. And he'll need to use those lessons in his own race-- in both the primary and general as he faces off against two consecutive wealthy self-funders.
Gov. Granholm and Lt. Governor John Cherry are both campaigning for Trevor. They know him-- and they know Pestka.
"From day one Trevor has been a fighter for fairness and opportunity," said former Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. "From the newsroom to the halls of Congress, Trevor has the experience and passion to get results on the issues critical to Michigan families. This is a campaign of inclusion that will stand up and represent all the voices of West Michigan and I am proud to support and be a part of it."
Trevor is proud of his working class roots and eager to get to work for working families. “I’m a product of public education. I was the first in my family to go to college, right here in West Michigan. I worked nights to put myself through school. Today, young people often need to get two or three jobs to afford the rising tuition, but the jobs aren’t there. The alternative is leaving the state to find opportunity elsewhere. I don’t think that should be a choice our young people have to make. They should have the chance to get a good quality education, at affordable costs, right here in Michigan. And they should do so with the confidence that once they graduate, they’ll be able to find a good-paying job. During my first year in office I will fight to stop the ongoing tuition loan rate hikes, like the one scheduled to take effect this July. We need schools to do their part as well to help keep tuition affordable, but Congressional action is critical, and I am committed to taking the lead on this issue.”
Trevor is proud of who he is and doesn't shy away from his status as a gay man any more than he shies away from his working class roots. “My dad and brother both served in the military, just like my grandfather. I went to work to help repeal 'don't ask, don't tell' to repeal the discriminatory policy with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, where we built a bipartisan coalition of folks to press Congress to vote on repeal. We had the odds against us, but we prevailed. Now, I’m the only one in this race who can say that I helped pass legislation to help our troops. This is just the beginning. In Congress I will ensure our men and women in uniform have the tools and the resources to do their jobs and protect our nation, and receive the benefits they earned upon returning home. Michigan is last in the nation for our troops getting their benefits-- that's wrong and I'm going to make sure we keep our promise to them."
August 7 is primary day. It's coming up very fast and Trevor can use some help-- very fast. He's Blue America's newest candidate and if you can, please consider making a contribution to his campaign on our ActBlue page. He'll be joining us below, in the comments section at 2pm ET-- 11am, here on the West Coast.