By Charles Sercombe
Some of the state’s leading Democratic office holders and candidates came out in force Sunday evening.
The Michigan Bangladeshi American Democratic Caucus held an election rally at Gates of Columbus Hall, and US Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow were on hand to urge voters to get out and vote this Nov. 6.
Also on hand were Democratic candidates Gretchen Whitmer and Garlin Gilchrist, who are running for governor and lieutenant governor respectively; Dana Nessel, who is seeking the job of state attorney general; Jocelyn Benson, who is running for sectary of state; Brenda Lawrence, who is seeking another term in congress for the district that includes Hamtramck; and a host of others on the Democratic ticket.
A number of those speaking reminded the 300 people attending the packed hall that the Democrats can’t afford a repeat of 2016.
That was when presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was leading by a wide-margin over Donald Trump, according to polls at the time. She lost Michigan by 10,000 votes.
Some have argued that was because many voters sat out the election.
Dr. Nazmul Hassan Shahim said this election is an opportunity to “turn the table” on Republicans, who now control both houses in congress.
“We can’t make the same mistake as 2016,” he said. “Don’t stay home.”
Whitmer, who was greeted like a rock star when she entered the hall, said she needs Democrats elected to key positions in state government.
“I need them to have our back,” she said.
As of Thursday, when The Review went to press, Whitmer was leading against her Republican opponent, Bill Schuette, according to polls.
She also complimented those attending, who were mostly from the Bengali community.
“You are an important part of this state,” Whitmer said.
Congressmember Brenda Lawrence said her district (the 14th) is a perfect example of what “America looks like,” referring to its ethnic diversity.
“The Bangladeshi community is going to be a part of the blue wave,” she said.
On the importance of people voting in this election, she said it’s a matter of “fighting for our lives. This is a rally, but this has to equate to votes.”
Senator Peters urged voters to vote “yes” on Proposal 2, which would end elected officials from determining voting districts, or as it is commonly referred to, “gerrymandering.”
Senator Stabenow said getting people out to vote can push back special interests and big-moneyed campaigns. She said it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor when it comes to elections.
“Election Day is the great equalizer. … We all get one vote,” she said. “We have to use our power to vote.”
Nov. 2, 2018