Between The Lines endorses candidates based upon their record and their public statements in support of equality for LGBT people. Here is a list of the contested races in the Aug. 7 primary in which BTL has an endorsement:
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Incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, and BTL will strongly endorse her in the general election this November.
On the Republican side, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra is leading a field of now three, since arch conservative, anti-gay activist Gary Glenn dropped out of the race over the weekend. BTL has no endorsement on the Republican side.
U.S. House of Representatives
District 3 – BTL endorses openly gay candidate Trevor Thomas in the Democratic primary.
District 11 – BTL endorses Syed Taj in the Democratic primary.
District 13 – BTL does a split endorsement between Glenn Anderson and John Conyers, Jr. Both have strong records on LGBT rights. Anderson championed the
District 14 – BTL endorses incumbent Gary Peters. This new district is the result of Republican gerrymandering during the redistricting process, and pits two Democratic incumbents against each other, Peters and Hansen Clark. Peters is a member of the House LGBT caucus, has been a co-sponsor of most LGBT positive legislation and has established an LGBT community panel that meets regularly with him to discuss issues important to LGBT voters. Clark is a strong candidate as well, and BTL has endorsed him in the past, but forced to choose, BTL supports Gary Peters.
Michigan House of Representatives – BTL rarely endorses in Michigan House primary elections, but due to the redistricting, some incumbents are running against each other. In the three cases below we BTL endorses incumbents who have been unequivocal in their support of LGBT issues and who are facing primary challenges due in part to the redistricting:
District 6 – Democrat Rashida Tlaib
District 21 – Democrat Dian Slavens
District 28 – Democrat Jon Switalski
District 53 – Democrat Jeff Irwin
District 76 – WRITE IN: Democrat Winnie Brinks
6th Circuit Judge – Oakland County
Incumbents – five incumbents running for reelection. BTL takes no position
Non-Incumbents five candidates vying for one seat. Top two vote getters go on to the general election in November. BTL endorses Karen McDonald, and recommends without endorsement Sahera Housey. McDonald is an experienced, progressive-minded attorney having spent years in the law firm firm which U.S. Rep. Sander Levin emerged. Many in the legal circles think she could be an excellent candidate for even higher office down the road, even to the Michigan Supreme Court. McDonald is supportive of LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage. Housey also answered judicial questionnaires and indicated she supports LGBT rights including adoption rights for same-sex couples.
In the following judge races, BTL supports these openly gay candidates who are also endorsed by the LGBT Victory Fund:
22nd Circuit Judge – Washtenaw County
BTL endorses openly lesbian candidate Democrat Carol Kuhnke.
30th Circuit Judge – Ingham County
BTL endorses openly gay candidate Democrat Ken Ross
Oakland County Executive
Kevin Howley, openly gay Democratic candidate, does not have a primary challenger. BTL will strongly endorse Howley in the general election.
Oakland County Commissioners:
18th District – BTL endorses incumbent Democrat Craig Covey. Due to Republican gerrymandering during redistricting, two incumbent Democrats are forced to run against each other, Covey and Helaine Zack. Both are strong supporters of the LGBT community, but when forced to choose, BTL endorses openly gay candidate Craig Covey
Art Institute Authority Millage – Strong YES vote recommended
Voters in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties will be asked Aug. 7 to approve 0.2 mils for 10 years, which is approximately $15 per year for every $150,000 of a home’s fair market value. This money will go to provide funding to support the Detroit Institute of Arts. Residents living in counties that approve the millage will receive free unlimited general admission, including students taking field trips to the museum, and there will be enhanced programs for students and seniors and bus subsidies for visits by seniors and students.
The DIA is an invaluable asset to the city and the entire region. There are economic benefits because the museum attracts tourism and visitors, and there are incalculable social and civic benefits that justify supporting this world-class museum and performing arts venue. After years of budget cuts due to cuts in state funding, the DIA would finally have secure financial backing. “The DIA will have the kind of financial stability it hasn’t had for 40 years,” said Graham W. J. Beal, the museum’s director.