The Michigan primary election that does stuff like thin out the herd of candidates for Congress was this past Tuesday, the 2nd. The person who's currently the Congress critter from Michigan's First District decided not to run again so there was actually a fair amount of competition. It can be depressing some years to see how an incumbent's decision to run again can stifle the competitive instincts in way too many politicians. Even the opposing parties will look at the incumbent's decision to keep wasting space in Washington and decide not to run anyone against him or her.
In any case, this year there was some competition. Three Republicans and two Democrats were vying for slots on the ballot in November. One of the three Republicans is the useless sack of fecal matter that currently represents this area in the State Senate; turned out I'm not the only person who considers him useless because he finished third. I was hoping this meant we wouldn't be stuck with him much longer, but no such luck -- he's only midway through his state senate term and didn't have to resign that seat in order to run for something else this year. No doubt he'll try for Congress again in 2018 because that's when he'll be term limited out for state office here in Michigan.
Oh well. Can't win 'em all.
But here's what makes me wonder. On Monday, the day before the election, a postcard dropped into our mailbox inviting us to attend a meet and greet with Lon Johnson, one of the Democrats running for Congress. The card said, and I quote, "You're invited to a town hall meeting, meet Lon Johnson - Candidate for Congress." We got the card on August 1, which means it was mailed the previous week. The town hall meeting is scheduled for August 17. The poll numbers must have been looking damn good for Johnson if his campaign staff felt comfortable sending out meet and greet cards almost a full week before he was officially the candidate.
As it turned out, he did win by a large margin -- over 60% of the vote. Not much of a surprise, actually, when he'd had a very active campaign beginning in the spring while his opponent was so low profile we didn't realize he was running until just a couple days before the election. Still, mailing those cards early has to make a person wonder just how much of the election results was determined by whatever is left of the Democratic party machine in Michigan and how much was determined by the voters.