Democratic nominee Mari Manoogian could flip this seat from red to blue.
Lori Goldman isn’t running for office, but she is determined to see more women elected to local office. Goldman leads “Fems for Dems” in Michigan, a group dedicated to seeing Republican men ousted from the state legislature and replaced with Democratic women.
One of the women her group is lifting up is Mari Manoogian, a former State Department employee who is running a campaign focused on education and infrastructure.
“We work with the intention that every race can be flipped to a Democrat,” Goldman told the Detroit Free Press.
Manoogian, with Goldman’s help, is taking on David Wolkinson, a pro-Trump Republican in affluent Oakland County. Both are running for an open seat vacated by Republican state Rep. Michael McCready, who cannot run again due to term limits.
Republicans have traditionally won races throughout the county, but the GOP strength has waned over the past few decades.
“Population experts say Oakland County’s electorate is moving from red to blue as the population adds younger residents, including many foreign-born immigrants,” the Detroit Free Press notes.
Wolkinson’s support of Trump shows him out of touch with the changing attitudes of Michigan voters. Hillary Clinton carried Oakland County in 2016 by eight points, and Trump’s popularity in Michigan is abysmal.
A recent poll shows a mere 37 percent of Michiganders side approve of Trump’s job performance, while a solid majority of 57 percent disapprove. Trump’s poor numbers in the state could hurt Republicans like Wolkinson all the way down the ticket, according to Richard Czuba, who conducted the poll.
His unpopularity “is what’s driving voters in every single race right now,” Czuba said.
Manoogian may be able to better relate to the demographic changes as the grand-daughter of Armenian immigrants who fled to the United States to escape the Armenia genocide.
To assist Manoogian, 20 to 70 volunteers from “Fems for Dems” meet weekly at Goldman’s house to phone bank for Manoogian and other Democrats. The group, which is mostly women, calls voters to inform them about the issues and encourages them to vote on Nov. 6.
From the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., to “Fems for Dems” in Goldman’s living room, women across the country have been especially fired up and engaged in politics, from the national level to the local level, since Trump’s election.
The U.S. Congress could see 100 or more women for the first time in history.
Michigan is also on the cusp of a record number of women in the state House of Representatives, with 77 women running for 110 seats. Detroit Free Press predicts at least 39 women will safely win their seats.
And if Goldman and the “Fems for Dems” have anything to say about it, the number will be even higher.