Stupak gets a pro-choice primary challenger

Representative Bart Stupak, formerly an obscure Member of Congress who rose to notoriety when he introduced the anti-choice Stupak Amendment to health reform, is being challenged in the Democratic primary in Michigan. From TPM:

Connie Saltonstall, a former commissioner in Charlevoix County, told me this evening she’s challenging Stupak over his refusal to allow health care reform to move forward without abortion language attached.
Saltonstall told me her “two passions” are health care reform and choice. And after spending the last 20 years voting for Stupak, Saltonstall said he managed to run afoul of both of them.

I don’t know much about Saltonstall yet except that she is, in her own words to RH Reality Check, “Without a doubt pro-choice.” That’s already a big improvement over Stupak, who has been urged by the DCCC to run for re-election.
I’m sure we’ll hear a lot more about Saltonstall soon. I hope she turns out to be a great candidate with a range of socially just positions, and that folks in Michigan help her create a positive campaign that can successfully unseat this anti-choice zealot.
Now is a great time, when the campaign is just getting underway, for folks in Michigan who want to help shape the agenda of their next Congressperson to learn more and get involved.

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  1. jessica paige
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I’m so excited to see that Connie is running against Stupak! I grew up in Charlevoix county and was very impressed with the work she did as county commissioner. Since I’m in school and technically still from that county, I am excited to be able to vote for her in the primary!!

  2. K Ditzler
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Part of the reason Stupak was obscure is because he represents the Upper Peninsula and the Northeastern Lower Peninsula — one of the least densely populated areas of the state. It is, ironically, some of the more impoverished areas of the state (lack of vacationers, and other industries).
    It’s not going to be easy to rally popular support, just by sheer geography. The District is 8 hours away by car from Detroit, 6 from Ann Arbor (and U of M), and at least 5 from Lansing (The capital and where MSU is). It’s also a HUGE district. I’m all for carpet baggers coming in and knocking on doors… but those doors are few and far between.
    Popular wisdom says that the only way Stupak has won in the past as a Democrat is by being anti-choice. The population there is aging, and the brain drain is going down-state and out-of-state.
    I’m not saying that it’s impossible. I’m just saying from a campaign stand-point, it’s going to be an EXPENSIVE campaign to win the primary, and then even more expensive to win in the general.

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