The Endorsing Convention debuted in 2010, with the realization that our state-wide candidates (those nominated by the Convention) suffered in fundraising and getting such a late start on their campaigns by waiting until the Fall Nominating Convention. For 2010, we started with endorsing Attorney General and Secretary of State (as well as the four Education Boards). Evidently we were unable to organize the Supreme Court candidates in a timely way for the Endorsing Convention. Jocelyn Benson won a rousing consensus endorsement for Secretary of State, while David Leyton won in a breath-takingly close race against Richard Bernstein for Attorney General.
This year, we will be endorsing for three Supreme Court positions as well as all of the Education Boards. It appears that the Education Boards are nearly set, as set forth in an email from MDP Chair Mark Brewer:
The MSU candidates are incumbent Joel Ferguson and Brian Mosallam, a Michigan State University graduate with a degree in Engineering Arts. For the State Board of Education, the candidates are Lupe Ramos-Montigny, a retired Grand Rapids school teacher, MEA member, and MDP 2nd Vice Chair; and Michelle Fecteau, a labor activist, mother of seven, and spouse of a public school teacher. The University of Michigan Board of Regents candidates are Mark Bernstein, a partner at the Bernstein Law Firm; and Shauna Ryder Diggs, a physician and UM grad. Sandra Hughes O’Brien is a candidate for Wayne State University. An attorney, she is the Chair of the MDP’s Hispanic-Latino Caucus.
So it appears that as of this email, we still need a second candidate for Wayne State, which probably will be found by Saturday.
The contested races, if any, will come in the Supreme Court race. From what I have heard, the candidate mix has been in flux. It is not clear at this point whether the vote will be by individual position (my preference, allowing the delegates a free choice of candidate for each position), or by pre-arranged slate.
In any case, the Justice Caucus, which makes a specialty of endorsing and campaigning for Supreme Court candidates, has endorsed Bridget Mary McCormack, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, and Sheila Johnson, a judge of the 46th District Court. It is possible that the Justice Caucus, which I serve as a Board member, may still endorse a third candidate before the Convention.
These are the Progressive choices for Supreme Court. I have met Bridget a number of times, heard her speak to the Sixth District and the Kalamazoo County Democratic Party, and am enormously impressed with her intellect and her passion for justice.
The MDP 2012 Endorsing Convention is this Saturday, March 10, at Cobo Hall in Detroit. In order to vote, you must be a Party member as of 30 days before the Convention. An elected precinct delegate may join the Party on the day of the Convention.
Constituency caucuses begin at 8 am. The Justice Caucus will run from 9:30 until 11. The Justice Caucus always puts on a great program. We will be unveiling a new video on the Michigan Supreme Court. Let me put in my pitch for all progressive Democrats to join the Justice Caucus. We focus on judicial issues, but also endorse in and study non-judicial races and issues. There are no dues, and you will only get occasional emails inviting you to our programs and telling you about election programs like our “Supreme Challenge”.
This is your chance to directly influence who our Supreme Court candidates will be. The Supreme Court has an enormous impact on our lives. That is the subject of another post, another time. Hope to see you at the Convention!