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GT Dems Host Potential Candidates

On Thurs, Sept. 14th, Grand Traverse Democrats hosted a reception at the home of Mike Dettmer. The intent of the event was to provide encouragement and information for folks who are thinking about running for office.

Harold Lassers, whose background was 27 years with Bell Labs and Silicon Valley network companies as an IT manager, stated that he would make the Voter Access Network or VAN work to obtain voter information, as well as help with our web resource, media, and communications network. “You don’t have to be a technocrat to run for office. You have me!”

Heather Abraham, who is a local area attorney with a master’s degree in public policy, focused on housing policy, stated that “our party will connect you to people who know campaigns, how to make a campaign plan, where to put your resources, and calculating your win numbers.

Matt Missias, who holds a PhD in Education and is an educational consultant, offered help with getting to know the right people and the right piece of research to support your candidacy such as housing, environment, development, education and more. “We know people who know what you need to know.”

Heather Abraham delivered a message from Staci Haag, an aid worker in Afghanistan right

now. Staci has extensive political experience, especially in fundraising. She worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and has designed candidate trainings in fundraising and communications. She stressed that she can help you draw up a fundraising plan and messaging. “Don’t be afraid to ask for money! I’ll teach you to it like a pro!”

Steve Horne whose background was in business at Ford Motor Company, and in higher education doing IT implementations. In both his careers and in his volunteer work he focused on identifying and addressing local issues by helping to develop community skills and techniques for achieving progressive action. “The most important point I have learned is the power of collective action.”

TJ Andrews is a local environmental attorney who advocates before local elected bodies on behalf of grassroots organizations. She has been the Vice Chair of the GT Dems since 2015. TJ stressed that GT Dems has been cultivating volunteers who are ready to work on your campaign and help you get elected. They have been making contacts and taking names - our volunteers have been organizing events, locating venues, working phone banks and door to door campaigns, staffing tables, and so on. “We are ready to connect you with trained, dedicated volunteers who will help manage and staff your campaign.”

Betsy Coffia spoke about her GOTV and field work experience; Hannah King outlined MDP Field Office Support; Brandon Fewins spoke as Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s representative; Eric Keller spoke of his liaison work with Senator Gary Peters office.

Matt Morgan, a former US Marine officer, who is running against Rep. Jack Bergman (R) in

Michigan’s Frist District, did a fantastic job encouraging folks and offering to campaign with folks who ran. He emphasized that having candidates down ticket was extremely important for up-ticket candidates.

In closing, Chris Cracchiolo, Chair of the GT Dems, stressed that the Dems are here to support candidates. That as a party, we can’t endorse you, but we can help you if we know of people who are interested in running for office. Chris underlined that the sooner we know, the sooner we can connect you to resources. “We know who votes, who they vote for, and how to get them to the poles. If you’re even half-serious about running, especially in 2018, please let any one of the committee members know. Schedule a coffee date with any of the committee members to talk about it some more, if you want to discuss, explore, consider. Thank you for coming here tonight. I hope you will find this to be the impetus that you need to run in 2018 as a Democrat!”

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