One of the sharpest candidates running for the House this year is Dr. Fred Johnson in western Michigan, for a seat being abandoned by the ever-ambitious twitterer Pete Hoekstra. In April Fred did a great guest post at DWT on education and societal priorities-- well worth reading. Today, Blue America's latest endorsed candidate, he's joining us for a live blogging session below in the comments section.
Before we get into the reasons we've endorsed Fred for the seat, I want to mention that he gave us an autographed copy of a book he wrote with Tayannah Lee McQuillar, Tupac Shakur: The Life And Times Of An American Icon which we will be giving away to a randomly selected donor today. To qualify for the drawing, please give any amount-- there is no minimum-- at the Blue America PAC page. You might be interested in knowing that all the money donated through this page this weekend will be put towards campaign advertising on Michigan blogs.
A former marine and a genuine progressive, Fred is well positioned to take advantage of the rapidly changing demographics and political identifications in the district. 2008 saw a huge jump in the Democratic vote throughout the district. This was delivered primarily through the top-notch voter registration and GOTV efforts of the Campaign for Change. The district now has a whopping 45,000 first time voters, who can deliver this seat to Fred in November. Despite the fact that conventional wisdom calls this a safe Republican district, it is very much worth noting that Senator Levin won here with 53% of the vote, and President Obama fell just short, at 48.5%. This district is turning purple rapidly, and 2010 can complete the process.
To give you a sense of Fred's priorities, here's a statement he gave me soon after I first met him this spring: