“Democrats for Glenn” adds Bay, Midland officials

Three Midland County officials elected as Democrats in 2018 have joined a growing group of Democratic elected officials in Bay County in crossing the aisle to endorse the reelection of state Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland, the expanding group’s leaders announced Thursday.

Bay County Commission Chairman Mike Duranczyk, D-Pinconning, and Bay County Commission Vice Chairman Mike Lutz, D-Essexville, took the lead last month in organizing Democrats for Glenn, citing their close working relationship with the first-term lawmaker. Duranczyk and Lutz were joined by Beaver Township Supervisor Steve Gray, Garfield Township Supervisor Jim Dubay, and Fraser Township Trustee George Augustyniak, all Democrats.

Duranczyk said Thursday that three Midland County elected officials have since endorsed Glenn — Jerome Township Supervisor Mike Wood, D-Sanford, Lee Township Treasurer William Stewart, D-Midland, and Midland County Clerk Ann Manary, who’s been elected in multiple elections as a Democrat but changed parties after the 2018 election.

Other Democrats who’ve also now joined in endorsing Glenn’s reelection are Beaver Township Trustee Nick Tomczak, D-Auburn, and Garfield Township Trustee Gerald Rivard, D-Linwood.

“Rep. Glenn is a mature, responsible, hard working leader we know, have worked closely with, and trust,” Duranczyk said. “We know she’ll continue to work hard for the best interests of the people of Bay and Midland counties of all parties. That’s why as a mainstream, reasonable, and rational Republican, her support among Democrats and independents continues to grow.”

The local Democrats for Glenn effort follows a radio advertisement from the Glenn campaign in which state Rep. Karen Whitsett, D-Detroit, endorses Glenn, describing the Republican lawmaker’s efforts to ensure Whitsett received the medical care she needed when she tested positive for COVID-19. “Annette Glenn should be your choice,” Whitsett says in the ad.

“She puts others before herself,” Whitsett told MIRS News, a state Capitol newsletter in Lansing. “And it’s not just me. It’s her entire community. When the floods hit, she was nonstop, helping her constituents in any way she could. I swear she doesn’t sleep.”

Duranczyk said while the local group was initially comprised of Democratic elected officials, the group has been reaching out to encourage moderate and conservative rank-and-file Democratic voters in Bay and Midland counties to vote for Glenn.

Duranczyk pointed to multiple examples when Glenn’s legislation has won broad or even unanimous bipartisan support in Lansing:

  • Glenn introduced legislation, signed into law by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, to ensure during the COVID-19 pandemic that public schools continue to receive the same amount of state funding for students who are enrolled in online learning as they do those who are physically present in the classroom.
  • Glenn introduced legislation, attached as an amendment to a broader spending bill signed into law by Gov. Whitmer, to allocate $6 million in disaster relief funding to Midland County communities impacted by flooding from the Edenville and Sanford dam failures in May.
  • Glenn introduced legislation to further protect the identities of state employee whistleblowers who report misuse of state funds or other misconduct by the state agencies for which they work. The legislation was passed by the state House on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 92-2.
  • Glenn’s legislation to reform the state’s Internet Technology software procurement process won unanimous bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Whitmer.
  • Glenn’s legislation to subject the legislature and governor’s office to the state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) passed the House with unanimous bipartisan support.
  • Glenn’s legislation to eliminate criminal prosecution of a farmer for driving a farm-licensed vehicle on a public roadway received near unanimous bipartisan support in the House, 106-1, and is awaiting consideration by the state Senate.