Ferguson calls opponent's GOP kickoff 'reckless and desperate'

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

The Trump Republican Congressional candidate lays out plan for campaign, despite potential risks to voters.

MARQUETTE, Mich. — Dana Ferguson, the Democratic nominee for Congress in Michigan's First District, is calling on his opponent to be considerably more solicitous through the campaign season after the GOP-office weekend kick-off.

"First District residents deserve better attention to their health and safety," said Ferguson. "It's disappointing and apparent no one at the Trump office opening practiced social distancing, and only half wore a mask for a photo-op. We're in the middle of a pandemic. We expect leaders to be exemplary. This was irresponsible."

Ferguson says these things matter to the district. Not only are COVID-19 numbers rising in the area, but when polled, more than 80% of citizens support social distancing and three quarters support everyone wearing masks.

Ferguson's opponent advocated for a Trump rally at the Superior Dome in Marquette, which would put the building at capacity during a pandemic. “I’ve already talked to the folks," he said. "I think we can put 14,000 people in the Dome here at NMU.”

During increased Corona Virus outbreak, Michigan E.O. prohibits even outdoor gatherings of over 250. The dome normally seats 8,000, and maxes at 16,000.

The Democratic candidate also took umbrage with a recent mailer sent out by his incumbent opponent, which was 'prepared, published, and mailed at taxpayer expense.' It's at least the Republican's second such mailer of the year, billed as 'official business' warning his constituency about COVID-19 scams, regarding a pandemic Ferguson says the GOP candidate hasn't done much to combat.

"These types of mailers are expensive," said Ferguson. "With over 700,000 residents in the district, this is a fascinating use of tax-payer funds during a pandemic and an economic crisis. There are so many inexpensive ways to reach constituents about official business. While sitting on millions of dollars in campaign funds from fossil fuel companies, PACs, and Big Pharma, he still thought it a prudent expenditure to use tax-payer money to discuss COVID-19 branded with his name."

Ferguson claims it was less official business, more campaign material and it's especially ironic considering the Republican candidate recently voted against the HEROES Act, which would have provided economic relief for the area, as he notoriously referred to it as 'feckless socialism.'

The Democratic campaign also highlighted quotes in the Republican nomination acceptance statement, asserting that Ferguson's opponent spent a significant amount of space to fear tactics and mischaracterizations of Democratic policies.

"We're committed to a positive campaign," said Ferguson. "I think residents are tired of this kind of politics, ad-hominems and negativity. We have so much to talk about over the next 12 weeks. We will not be going personal or purposefully distorting his positions, but just as my opponent's abysmal voting record is on the table, so is what he says and does on the campaign trail. He will be held accountable."

The incumbent Republican has under 30% evaluative ratings with nine prominent watchdog groups who analyze hundreds of career lifetime votes of Congresspeople, most scores barely broaching single digits. The First District's current representative scores failing grades in foreign policy, human rights, labor, civil liberties, the environment, animal protections, women's rights, education and on issues vital to retirees.

In an interview with TV6 Fox UP, the GOP candidate also laid out a plan for Trump supporters to 'knock on doors' throughout the district, something most campaigns—including Ferguson's—are reserving only if COVID-19 cases significantly decrease.

"Putting even just 100 volunteers on the streets to canvass during a pandemic risks the health and safety of tens of thousands of voters," said Ferguson. "This is desperation. Our campaign has figured out how to adapt because we care about the well-being of my future constituents. Conservative minded voters also deserve that same courtesy."

The Democratic campaign adds that despite of their disapproval of the far Right's behavior, its first priority is to lay out Ferguson's pragmatic, economically-driven progressive vision for the district, and do so passionately.

"Hopefully, this is a lesson learned," said Ferguson. "Campaigning during a pandemic can be difficult, but it's on all leaders to be better. In Jack Bergman's last few months in office, I hope he can at least take precautions for citizen safety."