Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.
Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

Dems Make Case For Early MI Primary

06/23/22 04:35 PM By John Reurink

(Source: MIRS.news, Published 06/22/2022) Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II will make their case to a national panel Thursday as to why Michigan should have an early primary in the 2024 presidential selection process.

Among those not in the delegation was Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who was listed as "others worth mentioning" in the Washington Post's April ranking for top 10 Democratic presidential candidates in 2024. Earlier this month, she was mentioned with two other politicos by The New Yorker as someone who could "save the Dems."

During Thursday's presentation to the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) Rules and Bylaws Committee, the Michigan delegation will argue that Michigan is a diverse battleground state where the electorate represents the "broad identities and experiences of all Americans."

Michigan's bid to become an early primary state has ramped up over the last two weeks with the launch of MoveUpMichigan.com and the release of a new video narrated by Pistons legend Isiah Thomas. Additional supporters who have submitted letters to the DNC include the Michigan congressional delegation, the AFL-CIO, the Michigan Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.

Meanwhile, former Michigan Republican Party Chairs Rusty Hills and Saul Anuzis are adding their support to the idea.

"Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada do not have some unique situation where they deserve to always be first," said Anuzis, who argues this is not a partisan issue. Instead, he said moving Michigan into the front of the primary line is good for the political system in this state.

In their joint letter to the DNC, they contend political candidates should be in states that reflect the make-up of American.

On that diversity front, Anuzis told MIRS, "There are very few states that have the manufacturing, the agricultural background and we have a very unique environmental issue with our Great Lakes." 

Plus, he said there is a very diverse population that makes "Michigan a truly representative state. Michigan is America."

Moving Michigan up in the process brings more candidate and media attention. When the Michigan Republican Party bucked the system and unilaterally changed the date, it worked. 

"We're not always a battleground state. The year we were a battleground state, presidential candidates on both sides paid more attention to us and the years we are not, we're completely ignored."

Even though the national GOP blocked Michigan from seating all of their convention delegates, Anuzis says it was worth it and "if I was on the GOP National committee, I would encourage them to do early here."

For now, he and Hills will have to settle for a possible change from the other guys as there appears to be no GOP appetite to follow the D's down this path.