Openly gay Michigan congressional candidate Trevor Thomas has been racking up a slew of endorsements in his Aug. 7 primary fight against conservative, anti-choice Democrat Steve Pestka in Michigan's 3rd District. The winner will challenge the current Tea Party extremist incumbent, Republican Rep. Justin Amash. Thomas had been the Democrat's original choice until Pestka, a rich former congressmember who voted to defund Planned Parenthood in 2001 and has a 100 percent rating by Michigan Right to Life, jumped in the race. The old local Democratic establishment - despite his anti-choice positions - then jumped on board Pestak's wagon.
Nonetheless, Thomas has drawn support from a range of local and national leaders in the pro-choice (NOW and Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, for example), labor, environmental and progressive movements - as well as an impressive array of elected officials - lead by his former boss, former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. They include: Reps. Diana DeGette, Raul Grijalva, and Chellie Pingree, former Rep. Patrick Murphy and today, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the eldest daughter of Robert F. Kennedy.
The email from Townsend reads, in part:
We can help elect a true progressive with a record of fighting for the same things my father stood for - equality, fairness, and opportunity for all.... When my father ran for president in 1968, he said that despite all the divisions, violence, and disenchantment within our society, we could work together. Those words are just as critical today -- and that's the same premise on which Trevor has built his own campaign.
Last Saturday, July 28, Juan Ahonen-Jover, PhD and Ken Ahonen-Jover, MD and their board at eQualityGiving.org gave Thomas their endorsement with this note: "With experience working at HRC, SLDN and Equality Matters, Thomas has proven himself as a stalwart fighter for equality."
Thomas does not accept PAC money; his campaign has been funded by nearly 3,000 individuals, most of whom have given less than $100. Pestka has contributed over $690,000 to his own campaign and accepts PAC money. According to Thomas' campaign, Pestka "holds major investments in the nation's largest oil and gas companies - upwards of $250,000 with each company, including Exxon - and one of those companies is testing fracking here in Michigan. If you've never heard of fracking, it's a terrible practice used in natural gas exploration that hurts the water table and our drinking water."
Thomas is just starting to air his first TV ad, featuring his mother who worked in a local auto factory for 30 years. His campaign could still use donations AND - if you want to help - you can volunteer to call people remotely from your own home from 3pm to 8pm EST through the end of the week. Campaign manager Clinton Wallace says, "Voters are largely undecided, so these calls are critical!" If you'd like to help, call Kali Sluyter at (616) 235-2012 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.