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Following the Democratic convention in April, Michigan Democrats have their endorsed slate of candidates, and it’s an all white woman slate, beginning with Gretchen Whitmer for governor, Jocelyn Benson for secretary of state and, after a bit of an inter-party skirmish, Dana Nessel for attorney general. Nessel, the attorney who helped win the battle for same sex marriage, is considered a progressive Democrat, and will be the first LGBT attorney general if she’s elected. She battled more traditional Democratic candidate Pat Miles, a former U.S. attorney for the Western District, for the party endorsement, an African American former Harvard classmate of President Obama who had UAW and other union support. Miles dropped out of the race, but Whitmer will still see primary challengers – entrepreneur Shri Thanedar, Abdul El-Sayed, formerly with Detroit Department of Health and Wellness, and businessman Bill Cobbs. Some are concerned that in their efforts to reach out to progressives, Dems are forgetting about African Americans, a traditional Democratic base. Oakland University political science professor Dave Dulio said Democrats should be careful about who they choose. “If more progressive Democrats come out of the primary process, it will make it more difficult in the general election for a centrist Democrat to win,” he cautioned. “The more ideological extreme candidates that are endorsed, the harder it is for them to pick up votes from the center in the general.”


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