What is going on here in West Michigan?

State Rep. Roy Schmidt has become a Republican.

Schmidt made the announcement in a news release. It appears he will run unopposed as a Republican for the 76th District seat in November. Democrat Matt Mojzak will challenge him for the seat. The Republicans in Lansing confirmed that Schmidt is now a member of the House Republican caucus.
The district was redrawn to be roughly 50-50 between the parties. Despite that, no other Republican ran - until Schmidt. The well-known Schmidt - who filed as a Democrat before withdrawing and then re-filing as a Republican - could've beaten Mojzak in a primary, then gone on to win the general election unopposed. In a statement, Schmidt says he is a moderate and that he wants to put his job above his party. But he did have this to say:
I believe I was sent to Lansing to serve the people of Grand Rapids, not political bosses. The simple truth is, extreme Democrat party bosses like Mark Brewer are unwilling to listen to ideas or accept my positions on issues that matter to me and Grand Rapids.
I only have this to say about this matter: 1. I do not know who Matt Mojzak is. 2. Schmidt's son ran for office several years ago as a Republican. Still, this is surprising. 3. Time will tell if he really puts West Michigan above his new party, as he promises. If that's the case, then as a lawmaker he will have to vote as though he's still a Democrat - because voting with the Republicans is voting against the needs of the people of this area.


Tomorrow: Filing deadline for precinct delegates and candidates!

Would YOU like to help make the Democratic Party more responsive to your concerns? Here's your chance!

Many Democratic activists like myself are precinct delegates. What is a precinct delegate?

The role of a precinct delegate is one of the most important yet least understood of any elected office. It is the active precinct delegate who wins elections for the Democratic Party. Precinct delegates are elected directly by the voters of each precinct to serve as a bridge between voters and the Democratic Party in your neighborhood and you represent your neighborhood at Democratic Party meetings.

So basically you will appear on the August 7 primary ballot in your precinct. While each precinct has a certain number of precinct delegate spots, many of them go unfilled. Result? If you file to run for Precinct Delegate, you are almost certain to win.

It's easy to run for Precinct Delegate. Fill out this form, get it notarized, and turn it in to your city/township clerk's office by 4PM tomorrow.

But wait... there's more! The Democratic Party is also looking for nominees for various offices at the state and county level. We can't let the Republicans go unopposed! If you want to run for office (even if it's just to put your name on the ballot), fill out this form, get it notarized, and turn it in along with a $100 filing fee (you'll get the fee back after the August primary if you're nominated). You will also need to fill out this form regarding campaign committees, but note that if you don't expect to spend much on the campaign, you can file for what's called a reporting waiver.

To find out who has filed to run for certain offices, or to determine where to file for office (which varies depending on the office and whether the district crosses county lines), call your county clerk's office. 
As the Democratic nominee for an office, you get the same rights as a precinct delegate, but you also get to serve on your County Party's Executive Committee for the next two years. (Nominees for certain offices constitute 1/3 of the County Democratic Executive Committee; the other 2/3 are selected by precinct delegates in November.)



ABC News:

President Obama today announced that he now supports same-sex marriage, reversing his longstanding opposition amid growing pressure from the Democratic base and even his own vice president. In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, the president described his thought process as an “evolution” that led him to this place, based on conversations with his own staff members, openly gay and lesbian service members, and conversations with his wife and own daughters. "I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Roberts, in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday. Excerpts of the interview will air tonight on ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer.” The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own. But he said he’s confident that more Americans will grow comfortable with gays and lesbians getting married, citing his own daughters’ comfort with the concept.
For him to do this right after a battleground state banned it? That shows courage on his part. He may well lose some votes over this come November, but I have a feeling he will get some votes because of this too. Either way, this was the right thing to do. And that is most important. And his willingness to do what is right - on this and many other issues - is why I am proud to support him. I am convinced that long after he is out of office, we will remember Barack Obama as a great President. Thank you, Mr. President!