Feb 21, 2009
Michigan Democrats celebrate John Dingell and huge election victory
DETRIOT -- Michigan Democrats celebrated their decisive victory last November on Saturday in Cobo Hall at the state convention, and they also took the time to honor the longest serving U.S. Congressman in U.S. history.
On Feb. 11, U.S. Rep. John Dingell, Jr., D-Dearborn, became the longest serving Congressman in history. He was first elected on Dec. 13, 1955; succeeding his father, a New Deal Democrat elected to Congress in 1932.
The entire Michigan Congressional delegation was on the stage to at Cobo Hall to honor Dingell.
“With John Dingell, it’s not just the length of his service, it’s the quality of service year after year,” said U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit. “We Michigan Dems are very proud to call John Dingell one of our own.”
Dingell has served with 11 Presidents, and that comes out to a quarter of all Presidents in U.S. history.
“No one will ever break that record, because as each day goes by he breaks the record everyday he serves; he is the record,” said U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Flint. “America is a better place because of John Dingell.”
Dingell is one of the most productive and influential members to ever serve in the U.S. House, and he is extremely passionate about health care. He helped pass the Medicaid Act in 1965, and he is a strong advocate for universal health care.
“We have continually re-elected the dean of the House, and every working day he has led the fight for health care and justice,” Levin said. “Every session he has introduced a bill for universal health care, just like his father before him.
“He hasn’t given up the fight, and we will not give up the fight until every American has health care,” he said.
Carl Levin’s brother, U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Southfield, said the Dingell and Levin family have always been close, and the first candidate he ever campaigned for was John Dingell, Sr.
“John Dingell has never represented special interests, only interests that are special,” he said.
Not only is John Dingell the longest serving Congressman in history, the unanimous election of Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer to his seventh term keeps his record intact as the longest serving Michigan Democratic Chair since the 1950's and the senior Democratic state party chair in the country.
“We are not here just to elect a party chair, we are here to tell the rest of Michigan that help is on the way with the stimulus; we are here to tell the rest of Michigan that Gov. Jennifer Granholm is diversifying the economy,” said Sen. Buzz Thomas, D-Detroit, the chair of the convention. “We are also here to tell those knuckle head southern Senators that the auto industry will survive; we helped build America, and we will continue to build America.”
Brewer told the party faithful that Democrats won so big in November for a reason, and we need to remind them of that in 2010.
“The Republican Party is the party of the past,” Brewer said. “You just need to look at who they elected as their chair; a Bush supporter; so big he made him an ambassador.”