Wed. Jan. 6, 2021, was one of the biggest threats to our democracy ever. My opponent was part of it and still is. Every voter he discounted deserves answers, and every citizen of Michigan's First District deserves the truth.
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The 2022 November midterm election will be like no other. We are not vying for a typical, run-of-the-mill Congressional race. Unseating Michigan's current First District Representative is vital, and it's not just the consequences of his ineffective policies at stake. It's our democracy.
I am running for Congress to preserve our union, uphold our constitution, and support the rule of law. Last year, my opponent demonstrated he would not safeguard your vote if he dislikes the outcome of an election. Disgraceful.
Our current representative tried to take away your vote in the 2020 election. Three times in the past year, he opposed voting rights and repeatedly defended dishonoring the will of the people. My opponent stood on the floor of our Capitol building and refused to certify every single vote cast in his district. Unacceptable.
The incumbent representative still does not recognize that the President was duly elected. His subversion of democracy led to the Jan. 6 insurrection, and he still pushes the divisive, untruthful narrative that caused the chaos. His dereliction of duty jeopardizes every individual's freedom to have a voice in government, to have their vote counted.
The great people of our district have been pleading with my opponent to provide answers, but he has not been available, accountable, or truthful. Honesty is the most basic expectation of a leader. The beauty of our democracy is that we can disagree, but we must entrust our leaders to base those political disagreements on a foundation of truth, supported by facts.
Here are the facts:
In 2016, our country elected Donald Trump in a fair and free election, and in 2020 we elected Joe Biden. We are a democratic republic, and we need to allow the people's will—and the votes they cast—to guide us.
How should we move forward?
We must protect our most fundamental democratic institutions — free and fair elections.
It's critical to prevent political oversight over the electoral process.
We must end gerrymandering.
We must end voter exclusion.
Our nation requires campaign finance reform. It requires a massive amount of money to be elected. If we continue on this path, our democracy will turn into government by the wealthy for the wealthy.
It's essential we return to winning an election with voter persuasion to allow electors to compare candidates' policies, characters, and qualifications – and do so based on facts, not fiction.
The survival of our democracy will depend on:
Ending political polarization and party tribalism.
Eliminating conflict over who belongs as a member of a political community, particularly with race, ethnicity, and national origin.
Decreasing economic inequality.
Reducing excessive executive power.
My opponent's substanceless rhetoric and name-calling are unproductive and unbecoming of a Representative.
As I have often said, I will run on a bedrock of principles—wisdom, justice, kindness, democratic freedom, and equality under the law. The current representative runs on intimidation, division, and meaningless rhetoric. He offers no meaningful solutions and does not advance legislation that addresses national problems. My opponent refuses to compromise to help us move forward together as a nation.
If I am so honored to continue my lifetime of service as a Congressman and the people entrust me to replace the incumbent, things will be drastically different.
I hope to build relationships like Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell and Republican Rep. Fred Upton from Michigan, who went on national TV calling on Americans to "get back to just remembering how much we have in common" and to work together.
We need to overcome the toxic environment in Washington. We must remove our fears and anger and replace them with hope, calmness, and confidence. We must collaborate with civility, dignity, and respectful debate.
If my opponent were interested in these leadership values, I wouldn't be working so hard to defeat him, but it's my duty to run for Congress because our current representative does not work well with others, nor does he have the ability to represent all people. We need a Yooper/Northern Michigander who lives in the district, someone who won't just advance fringe party values, but will prioritize rural Michigan values. I intend to bring your voices to the Capitol in order to be an influential and effective member of our government.
A Congressperson has four assumed duties and responsibilities. I urge voters to evaluate the incumbent on how well he did in each of these areas:
Legislative and policy work — Here are my opponent's voting report cards:
"F" in Foreign Policy
"F" in Workers Rights
"F" in Civil Liberties
"F" in Conservation
"F" in Education
"F" in Social Security
"F" in Human Rights
Constituency servant — Help constituents solve their problems.
The biggest complaint I hear from constituents about my opponent is his unavailability. He is quoted in 2017 dismissing his need to be in the district because "I'm not the one who is going to solve their problems."
Education/Communication — Articulate and take positions on issues; educate and inform constituents about legislation.
The incumbent hasn't held a town hall meeting in five years.
Representative — Represent and advocate the district's and constituents' interests.
I am frustrated our Rep hasn't accomplished the duties and responsibilities he was sworn to uphold. That's not leadership. It doesn't matter if you're progressive or conservative; you deserve someone who will listen to you, respect you, and strive to represent everyone to the best of their abilities.
To hold my opponent accountable, we must allow the people of Michigan's First District to participate in a free and fair election. We owe it to the constituency to value every vote and validate the results.
After we defeat the incumbent, no matter for whom you voted, you can count on me to legislate, serve, communicate and represent everyone at a standard this district hasn't seen in years.
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Dr. Bob Lorinser (D, Gwinn) is uncontested in the Democratic primary on Tues. Aug. 2, 2022. Lorinser will carry the nomination and face U.S. Representative Jack Bergman (R, Acme) in the midterm general election on Tues. Nov. 8, 2022 for Michigan's First Congressional District seat.