Warren gets endorsed by 45 Michigan officeholders, activists

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's campaign for president unveiled a list of endorsements from 45 Michigan officeholders and political activists on Wednesday, touting her support in a state that could be a key battleground in 2020.

Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, has now received endorsements from seven current Democratic members of the state Legislature, more than 10% of the Democrats serving in the House and Senate. She also has the support of U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township, and former U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a campaign event, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

"I'm grateful to have the support of longtime progressive champions who have fought to make Michigan a better place for working families," Warren said in a statement. "We're in this fight to create big, structural change — and that means building a movement that makes our country work for everyone."

The Democratic state lawmakers backing Warren are Sen. Mallory McMorrow of Royal Oak, Sen. Stephanie Chang of Detroit, Rosemary Bayer of Beverly Hills, Rep. Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor, Rep. Laurie Pohutsky of Livonia, Rep. Jim Ellison of Royal Oak, and Rep. Bill Sowerby of Clinton Township.

Others endorsing Warren in Michigan include Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor; Macomb County Commissioner Robert Mijac; Donna Givens, CEO of the Eastside Community Network; Lonnie Scott, who leads the liberal group Progress Michigan; and Danielle Atkinson, founder of the group Mothering Justice.

Mijac, who has served on the commission for 23 years, said he's seen his constituents' income remain flat while expenses for health care and college have risen. 

"I think that Elizabeth Warren speaks about those economic realities better than any of the other presidential candidates," Mijac said. "And that’s why I am supporting her."

Scott identified the Democratic presidential campaigns of Warren and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg as so far having put substantial resources in Michigan.

"She’s putting real investment into the state, and we haven't seen that from other folks," said Scott, who endorsed Warren in his individual capacity, not his position as the executive director of Progress Michigan.

Warren's announcement of new endorsements comes 41 days before Michigan's March 10 primary election. But early absentee voting has already begun.

The Iowa caucuses — the first statewide contest in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination — take place Monday.

Warren's campaign touted its progressive support, but it will be competing for left-wing votes in the state with other Democratic candidates, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the self-declared democratic socialist who won the Michigan presidential primary in 2016.

Sanders has been endorsed by U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, and state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn. Hammoud described Sanders as authentic, genuine and consistent on Wednesday.

"I think locally, you’re going to see a lot of support from progressives and a lot of support from independents," Hammoud said of Sanders' support in Michigan.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been endorsed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. And former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been gathering support in the state as well, including the backing of state Sen. Adam Hollier, D-Detroit.