Lon Johnson

Republican Jack Bergman has won in the sprawling 1st Congressional District. Bergman collected 55 percent of the vote. Bergman is a retired Marine Corps general who lives in the Upper Peninsula town of Watersmeet.

Got questions before heading to the polls November 8? IPR News Radio hosted hour-long discussions with the candidates for northern Michigan’s seat in U.S. Congress. The race is expected to be one of the most competitive in the nation this year. Listen to the call-in shows below.

The most hotly contested congressional race in Michigan is widely viewed as happening in the First Congressional District. It covers the entire Upper Peninsula and a good-sized chunk of the northern Lower Peninsula.

Earlier this month on Stateside, Zoe Clark spoke with the Democratic contender, Lon Johnson. Today, we spoke with Republican candidate, retired Marine Lt. General Jack Bergman.

Lon Johnson for Congress

Northern Michigan Democrats have picked Lon Johnson to run for U.S. Congress. Johnson, the former chair of the state Democratic Party, took 72 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary election against former Kalkaska County Sheriff Jerry Cannon.

“In my candidacy, you will see a future member of Congress willing to make investments to get things done,” Johnson told IPR News Radio in an interview on Wednesday morning.
 


Peter Payette

Republicans in Michigan’s 1st Congressional District have nominated a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general to run for U.S. Congress.

Jack Bergman was unknown in northern Michigan political circles until about six months ago. Yesterday, he prevailed in a three-way race against two well-known members of the Republican Party: state Senator Tom Casperson from Escanaba and former state lawmaker Jason Allen from Traverse City.

Bergman, who lives in the Upper Peninsula town of Watersmeet, took more than 33,000 votes out of about 86,000.

In case you missed it, Democrats Lon Johnson and Jerry Cannon debated the issues on IPR News Radio on Friday, June 10. Johnson and Cannon are both candidates for Michigan's 1st Congressional District.

Listen below to a recording of the entire call-in show, and be sure to join us next Friday -- June 17 -- when the Republicans convene for a live call-in show at 1pm.


Worried about Line 5 at the Straits? Wondering about the northern Michigan economy?

Now is your chance to question the Democrats running for U.S. Congress in northern Michigan. Leave your question in the comments below, and we just might ask it on air on Friday, June 10 at 1 p.m.

It’s a live forum and call-in show with the Democratic candidates for U.S. Congress in the 1st Congressional District — Jerry Cannon and Lon Johnson.

Call in during the forum at 800-681-5929.

Lon Johnson for Congress

Congressional candidate Lon Johnson is calling for the oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac to be shut down while an independent investigation is conducted.

“If we were to have an accident there, the cost would be immeasurable to our ecology, to our economy, to our health,” Johnson told IPR News Radio in an interview last week.

Enbridge’s Line 5 runs across the Straits, and has drawn criticism from environmental groups who worry about the age of the 63-year old pipe. Enbridge says the crossing is safe.

Lon Johnson, the former chairperson of the Michigan Democratic Party, is running for northern Michigan’s seat in U.S. Congress. He led Michigan Democrats for two years, from 2013-2015, before announcing he was jumping into the race for the First Congressional District.

Lon Johnson for Congress

Lon Johnson, a Democrat running for northern Michigan’s seat in U.S. Congress, raised more than three time as much money as all the other candidates combined in 2015. His total was $625,723, according to an end-of-the-year filing report with the Federal Election Commission.

“His fundraising numbers so far are looking pretty solid for him,” says Craig Mauger, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. Mauger covers political spending across the state.


Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics co-hosts Rick Pluta and Zoe Clark break down the news that Lon Johnson, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, is considering a run in Michigan's 1st Congressional District in 2016. 

Michigan Democratic Party

The race for northern Michigan's congressional seat is starting to take shape. In March, Rep. Dan Benishek said he would run for a fourth term, despite his pledge of support for term limits in 2010.

Now, Lon Johnson – the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party – says he might run, too.

"A number of people have asked me to consider running for Congress," Lon Johnson told Rick Pluta, Capitol bureau chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network last week.

"I'm considering it."

State Democratic Chair Charges "Court Rigging"

Nov 18, 2013

The chair of the Michigan Democratic Party maintains a recent overhaul of the state’s Court of Claims amounts to “court rigging” by the GOP. That’s despite the fact that an equal number of Republican and Democratic judicial appointments were recently made to the court.

MDP Chair Lon Johnson appeared this weekend on the Michigan Public Television program Off the Record.