"We're intent on winning, taking our message to Washington and enacting positive change in the district."
NEGAUNEE, Mich. — With 98 percent of precincts reporting as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dana Ferguson, US Congressional candidate for Michigan’s 1st District (MI01), has secured a victory with a majority of the Democratic primary vote and will move forward to the general election in November.
Ferguson earned 44,756 votes, or 64 percent over his opponent Linda O'Dell's 24,872 votes, a surprising margin, according to the Ferguson campaign.
"We ran this race every day as if we were 10 points behind," said Ferguson. "I'm incredibly grateful the 1st District came out to vote for a distinct vision for Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The margin is humbling and speaks volumes about the direction citizens share for the area."
The campaign says the COVID-19 pandemic changed nearly every aspect of society, including how political races are fought and forced them to switch to virtually an entirely digital campaign.
"We have a great team right now," said Ferguson. "To keep staff, citizens and volunteers safe, the conventional type of political organizing wasn't an option. We had to adapt. These are perilous times and we knew we had to accomplish more with less."
Fundraising for both O'Dell and Ferguson wasn't as strong as previous primary efforts, as donors were limited with economic hardship and toggled between two viable candidate options with little to no external polling.
Ferguson's efforts switched from traveling and coffee hours to social media and virtual town halls, with citizens' health and safety a number one priority.
"In this particular race, you're running blind, so it was our goal to be as transparent and thorough as possible about our vision for the area," said Ferguson. "We tried to keep the conversation focused on policy, so we took the time to develop a robust platform available to voters. It was a lot of work, but it paid off."
Outreach and policy are where the candidate says the campaign excels. While working as a union laborer and contractor, Ferguson obtained a bachelor's degree in Economics and a master's in Public Administration. He is pushing a 'bold' pragmatic, economically-driven but progressive agenda gaining traction with progressives, moderates, and even former fallen Trump supporters.
Ferguson's campaign is focused on union labor, green jobs, and a revitalization of infrastructure centered around social issues and environmental sustainability.
His general election opponent, Rep. Jack Bergman (R, Watersmeet), is vying for a third two-year incumbent term. The campaign says they're prepared to show voters distinctions between Bergman's voting record and Ferguson's alternative.
"It will continue to be a different kind of campaign, but it's fitting because I'm a different kind of candidate," said Ferguson. "I didn't join this race to influence the seat for a future candidate. We're intent on winning, taking our message to Washington and enacting positive change in the district."
Ferguson faces Rep. Bergman and a Libertarian candidate in the General Election on Tues. Nov. 3, 2020.
"We're confident. No one will outwork us for the seat and we're prepared to 'take it home' for Yoopers and Northern Michiganders."
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