Why I Support Jocelyn Benson for Secretary of State

Over the next couple of days, I will be sharing with you which candidates I am supporting for the Democratic nominations for Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General. We will, of course, be voting to endorse candidates for Secretary of State and Attorney General at this weekend's Endorsement Convention, but while we don't vote on the Governor's race until August, I have settled on a candidate. I'll share my preferred candidates for Governor and AG later in the week.

First off is the race for Secretary of State. We have two Democratic candidates, but one of them stands out and has shown that she is capable of being a solid Secretary of State. That candidate is Jocelyn Benson.

She has been a national leader in advancing fairness and justice in our elections and our society as a whole. She has worked for the DNC, the SPLC, the Harvard Civil Rights Project, and - like Jennifer Granholm - she was a clerk for Judge Damon J. Keith. She has also fought off one attempt to close a Secretary of State branch and an attempt to prevent victims of foreclosure from voting. She also achieved tenure as a professor of election law at Wayne State University and has published a book on best practices of secretaries of state.

Benson's broad platform includes removing barriers that often face would-be voters; cracking down on election fraud and intimidation; easing voter registration; supporting consumers' rights; improving customer service at the Secretary of State branches.

More importantly, however, seems to be her dedication to listening to people and making good use of their input. I'm involved with both the Kent and Isabella Democratic Parties, and Jocelyn has met with both County Parties more than once. She demonstrated very early in the campaign that unlike many politicians, she is a listener.

No wonder she's racked up so many endorsements: more than half of the county parties; countless state lawmakers and local officials; and several caucuses, unions, and other progressive organizations are joining Jocelyn's campaign.

On paper, Janice Winfrey does have some accomplishments about which she can boast. She has served as City Clerk for Detroit and has done some things to ensure election integrity in Detroit. However, her Vision page on her website is lacking.

It is Jocelyn Benson whose record and vision are what Michigan needs now. She is the one who has the ideas, dedication, and willingness to listen and understand that, if elected, would make her a truly remarkable public servant. That is why I will be proud to vote for her this Saturday.

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