Apr 17, 2010
Next AG and SOS chosen at convention
DETROIT -- Anyone who thinks organized labor no longer has any political clout should have been at the first ever Michigan Democratic Party Endorsement Convention in Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit on Saturday.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton edged out attorney and Wayne State University Trustee Richard Bernstein fro the party endorsement for Michigan Attorney General by a vote of 1634-1481 with help from the UAW. The vote went down to the wire, and Leyton did not win until the roll call of the 15 Congressional districts was complete.
“I am humbled, and I can tell you we are going to take this campaign all over Michigan,” Leyton said. “We are going to stand up for the Michigan working man.”
The vote is not binding or official until the summer state convention on Aug. 28, but the losing AG and Secretary of State candidates agreed to withdraw from the race if they do not win in order to take back the seats that have traditionally belonged to Democrats.
More than 189,000 Democrats were credentialed to cast votes on Saturday. Although Bernstein had some labor support, Leyton had much more. Immediately after the vote, Bernstein took the stage to endorse Leyton and introduced him as the next Michigan Attorney General.
“I want to say what a privilege it has been to compete with Richard Bernstein,” Leyton said. “He has been a class act all the way.”
Leyton said he wants to return the AG Consumer Protection Division to the stature it once had under former Eternal General Frank Kelley. Leyton is also a former member of the AFL-CIO.
“I will work to my last breath to see that Michigan will never be a right to work state; never,” he said.
Leyton said the first thing he will do once he is sworn into office is to drop the blatant political lawsuit that challenges the constitutionally of the health care insurance reform bill filed by current AG Republican Gubernatorial Candidate ‘Manoogian’ Mike Cox.
The race for Secretary of State was not even close, and Wayne State University law professor Jocelyn Benson won in a landslide 2,964 to 151. She has been campaigning for more than a year, and the Republicans are so scared of her that they have tried to smear her with lies.
“What a journey it has been, and it has just begun,” she said. “The General Election starts tomorrow.”
None of the Republican candidate’s credentials come close to Benson’s. She graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College. She subsequently earned her Masters in Sociology as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, and she received her J.D from Harvard Law School, where she was a general editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Benson also worked as the Voting Rights Policy Coordinator for the Harvard Civil Rights Project, worked as a summer associate for voting rights and election law for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and she was an investigative journalist for the Southern Poverty Law Center.