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We have made continuous updates to our Taking Back The House series and I have created a master database of all the races we have highlighted and links to all the prospective Democratic candidates.  We continue to edit it as news on races emerge and we hope you follow it.  For the master list, please click here.
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Hopefully everyone is staying out of the heat and attempting to stay as cool and hydrated as possible.  I’ve had a lot of trouble running in this heat and I can’t wait until in four months I can complain about how cold its getting.  But you know what else is heating up?

Why of course, our next edition of Taking Back The House!  In fact this seat has been in the news recently as the Democrats are actively pursuing a potential challenger to the incumbent.

So let’s meet that prospect and also take a look at Michigan’s 1st congressional district and meet Rep. Dan Benishek and what we can do to inch our way back to a majority in the House of Representatives.

File:Dan_Benishek

 

Dan Benishek was elected in, and this is getting rather exhaustive if you are an avid reader of this series, the wave of 2010 in which he succeeded longtime Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak who retired after notably delaying the vote on the Affordable Care Act to add in anti-abortion language.  Before entering electoral politics, Benishek worked as a physician in the area.

Legislation & Notable Votes:

  • Voted “yes” on banning federal health coverage of abortion.
  • Voted “yes” on the Paul Ryan budget to end Medicare as we know it.
  • Co-sponsored the oddly titled “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Act” which just sounds like ridiculous political opportunism.
  • Voted “yes” on strengthening the Patriot Act.
  • Voted “no” on removing forces from Afghanistan

Headlines:

  • Seems to be a climate change truther or denier based on this statement in which he wavered on global warming and encouraged people to be “skeptical of science”.  This is rather irrelevant to the idea of Taking Back The House, but isn’t one of the last things you want to hear your physician say is to be “skeptical of science”?
  • Was the subject of a DCCC robocall highlighting his close ties to big oil.

Electoral History:

2010:  Dan Benishek (R): 51.9%, Gary McDowell (D): 40.9%, Glenn Wilson (I): 3.4%
2012:  Benishek (R): 48.1%, McDowell: 47.6%, Emily Salvette (L): 3.1%

PVI:
R+5

Potential Prospects:

Gary McDowell has ran against Benishek in the past two electoral cycles and while he made a hell of an effort in 2012, I’m not sure if he is willing to give it another go and some fresh blood may be in order.

But who is considered “fresh”?  Democrats appear to be very excited over the prospect of retired Army Maj. General Jerry Cannon.  Cannon also spent time as a commander at Guantanamo Bay which may or may not be a hindrance to him by November 2014.  For more read, this piece on the life of Jerry Cannon.

Why We Can Do This:

Cannon seems to be one of the better recruits for the Democratic Party though it will be interesting to see if the Upper Peninsula of Michigan would be willing to vote for Cannon who doesn’t live in the area.  Still, Cannon has a great profile and Democrats do seem very excited about him.

It might be a bit uphill but this area is ancestrally Democratic.  Cannon being a respected veteran could be a terrific boon in getting some older, blue collar Democrats to return to cast a vote for the party.  Benishek hasn’t done a great job in his two elections and appears to be a weaker candidate that can be taken down with the right person.  Remember McDowell only lost by about 2,000 votes in 2012 in this district.

Links You Oughta Check Out:

No links yet available for Jerry Cannon but if he does enter the race, we will update them here.

Follow us on Twitter @PolliticsToday for more insight, commentary and updates concerning this blog or “LIKE” us on Facebook (click the links). Seriously, do those things, I’d love to hear from you and for you to get updates on our website.  Thanks!

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