You are hereCaucus Endorses Lon Johnson for MDP Chair

Caucus Endorses Lon Johnson for MDP Chair

By Nan Melke - Posted on 18 February 2013

In response to numerous requests from Caucus members, our Non-Judicial Endorsements Committee conducted in-depth interviews with both candidates for Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, Mark Brewer and Lon Johnson. Based upon those interviews, the respective candidates' records and their proposed plans for the MDP in future elections, the Justice Caucus Board of Directors voted to endorse Lon Johnson for Chair of the MDP.


The Justice Caucus Board of Directors is proud to announce our endorsement of Lon Johnsonfor Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. Often called “the Conscience of the Michigan Democratic Party,” the Justice Caucus is Michigan’s Progressive Democratic Caucus with over 2200 members statewide.

Lon Johnson is a true progressive with the energy, vision and political skills to lead the MDP to victory. Lon has more than 20 years of extensive political experience, a record of success and passion for progressive politics to move the MDP in a new direction. After 16 years of heavy Democratic losses in races for state offices in Michigan, Lon is the change we need.

Lon has a keen political mind, excellent temperament and ability to relate to people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. He knows how to implement a modern technology-driven grassroots campaign on a large scale.
Short bio: Raised in Rockwood, MI, Lon has managed successful candidate and coordinated campaigns in multiple states, including Janet Napolitano’s campaign for Arizona Attorney General. A leader in progressive politics, Lon served as Michigan Director of ACT (America Coming together), a 527 backed by George Soros and other progressive funders. Lon managed Congressman Dingell’s 2002 primary campaign. A successful businessman, Lon is married to Julianna Smoot, who was President Obama’s top fundraiser in 2012.
Lon is a progressive candidate with a vision of “the politics of addition.” Many Michigan Democrats feel their voices don’t matter. Certain groups with expertise or interest in particular offices and issues have been denied a seat at the table when vetting candidates, developing strategy or setting MDP priorities. Lon knows the best way to grow and strengthen the party is to practice what he calls “the politics of addition.” Lon is committed to giving minorities, women, urban communities and groups which have knowledge and skills on specific issues a voice in our party.
Lon is liked and respected by Obama supporters. He will keep them in the fold. Lon has a close relationship with the President’s OFA campaign organization. Lon will be embraced by its leaders, supporters and grassroots volunteers in Michigan. Lon will mobilize this powerful resource in races for state offices.
We need a Change. Michigan has now gone “blue” in 6 straight presidential cycles and in 6 straight U.S Senate races with victory margins as high a 60%. Down ticket, however, the picture is not rosy. It is a deep red. At onset of 2014, a review of the previous 16 years will confirm that the Michigan Democratic Party has:
· Lost 4 straight Secretary of State Races,
· Lost 3 straight Attorney’s General races,
· Held a majority in the State House for only 4 of the previous 16 years, and
· Held a majority on the Michigan Supreme Court for only 4 months of the previous 16 years.
We must change or perish as a viable political party. Lon can deliver that change.
Lon’s Vision for the transformation of the MDP. To break the demoralizing cycle of defeat, Lon will:
Grow the base and harvest new voters using the latest technology. The Obama campaign confirmed the effectiveness of micro-targeting specific messages to groups of voters using new research, statistical models and multiple levels of media. Lon will use these methods to win not only Attorney General, Secretary of State and State House seats, but Supreme Court seats as well.
Utilize modern methods for raising money. With the growth of SuperPacs, traditional campaign funders are not enough. Obama’s campaign created a new model to identify thousands of new donors and raised a billion dollars. We do not do that locally. Lon will implement Obama’s model of mass fundraising at the micro level.
Recruit, train and support more candidates. Lonwill develop a “farm team” of local Democratic candidates, strengthen our talent pool and grow our volunteer base.
Promote progressive issues reflecting the party’s values and diversity. Every two years, the MDP adopts a platform with positions on many issues and then puts it on a shelf to gather dust. Many Democrats view the MDP as timid and afraid to lead. We should raise our voices and mobilize to support a full range of progressive issues. Lon will.
Progressive Democrats are uniting to elect Lon as Chair of the MDP. Do you agree it is time to move our party forward with a new vision and strategy? If so, please join your fellow Justice Caucus progressive democrats who have endorsed Lon here:
And please attend the MDP Convention on Saturday, February 23, 2013, at Cobo Hall in Detroit and vote for Lon Johnson as Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.