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Million Dollar Effort to Flip Michigan House from Red to Blue

Democrats would need to win nine seats to regain power in the Michigan House of Representatives. (Steve and Christine/Wikimedia)
Democrats would need to win nine seats to regain power in the Michigan House of Representatives.
(Steve and Christine/Wikimedia)
August 11, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – A women's political advocacy group wants to flip Michigan from red to blue.

EMILY's List has announced a Focus 2020 initiative intended to get pro-choice, Democratic Party women elected in the years leading up to the 2021 redistricting.

Republicans have had control of Michigan's government for several years, and Democrats would need to win nine seats to regain power in the House.

EMILY'S List Executive Director Jessica O'Connell says while the organization would welcome pro-choice Republicans, the ultimate goal is to support pro-choice, Democratic women.

"We need more women that are reflective of the rest of the country – with diversity, with experiences, with their perspectives – to help introduce better policies for women and families,” she states. “And so, that's really our focus and our effort.”

O'Connell notes that Republicans control 68 of the 98 legislative chambers in the country.

EMILY'S List plans to spend $1 million this year, targeting eight legislative chambers in seven states: Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire and New Mexico.

O'Connell says the initiative will also focus on the 2018 governor's races in several states, including Michigan.

Focus 2020 is backing five women running as Democrats for Michigan House seats in November, including District 91 candidate Collene Lamonte, who says what she calls "anti-women policies" in Michigan, such as the recent de-funding of Planned Parenthood, need to stop.

"We've also seen bills that address pay equity and preventing sexual assault on college campuses languish and die in committees,” Lamonte points out. “A recent report in Bridge magazine ranked Michigan second to last in providing affordable, quality child care to working women and families living at or near the poverty line."

Meanwhile, Republican leaders say they feel confident in their candidates ability to maintain their House majority.


Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI