State Democrats pick chairman at convention this weekend

Feb 22, 2013

Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer faces the strongest challenge in his 18 year stint. The state party will pick its chairman during a convention this weekend in Detroit. Democratic activist Lon Johnson is challenging Brewer to lead the Michigan Democratic Party. 

Mark Brewer - file photo
Credit The Associated Press

Gongwer News Service Editor Zach Gorchow told WMUK's Gordon Evans that Brewer has always been known as a pugnacious fighter for the Democratic Party. But he says there has also been a faction that finds some of his actions childish. But Gorchow says Brewer has been secure in the job for most of the last 18 years. (Read Gorchow's blog - entry on the Michigan Democratic Party leadership battle can be found on January 24th)

Brewer is being challenged for the State Democratic Party Chairmanship by Lon Johnson. Gorchow says Johnson is a long-time Democratic activist, who ran Congressman John Dingell's campaign in one of his toughest challenges for re-election to the U.S. House. Johnson also ran for state House in northern Michigan, but did not win. But Gorchow says that race demonstrated Johnson's ability to raise money. 

Brewer faces a challenge for the chairmanship even though President Obama won Michigan handily and Senator Debbie Stabenow was re-elected by a comfortable margin. Gorchow says many Democrats feel that the party should have done better in races for state House and for state Supreme Court. Gorchow says anyone who leads a state political party builds up enemies over time. He says for Brewer that may have reached critical mass.