Michigan League of Conservation Voters Endorses Five Challengers in Northern and West Michigan

 GRAND RAPIDS --- The Michigan League of Conservation Voters (Michigan LCV) issued endorsements today for Allen O’Shea, Lon Johnson, Sharon Gray, Scott Dianda, and Mike Huckleberry, all challengers for State House seats in northern and west Michigan currently held by incumbents with anti-conservation voting records.

“Northern Michigan and west Michigan residents have a unique connection to their natural resources,” said Lisa Wozniak, Executive Director of Michigan LCV. “Whether they work in tourism, on a farm, or hunt and fish on the weekends, they have a stake in conserving their land, air, and water. Unfortunately, their current representatives have abandoned that conservation legacy. We believe the challengers we’ve endorsed can restore it.”

Allen O’Shea is running against incumbent Ray Franz in the 101st District in the northern Lower Peninsula. While O’Shea has created jobs in northern Michigan manufacturing renewable energy equipment, Franz sponsored a bill to repeal Michigan’s current renewable energy standard. Franz also voted to restrict Michigan from adopting Great Lakes protections stronger than federal rules - a bill Governor Snyder vetoed - and he was named to the national League of Conservation Voters “Dirty Dozen” list of the twelve worst state legislators in the country on environmental and conservation issues.

Lon Johnson is challenging Bruce Rendon for the 103rd District, also in the northern Lower Peninsula. Johnson, who works with a team which invests in American manufacturing and served as a civilian contractor in Iraq, lists protection of northern Michigan’s people and land as campaign goals. Rendon, by contrast, voted for the "No Stricter Than Federal" Bill vetoed by Governor Snyder.

In the Upper Peninsula’s 110th and 108th Districts, former small business owners Scott Dianda and Sharon Gray are challenging incumbents Matt Huuki and Ed McBroom, respectively. Huuki and McBroom both voted to prohibit Michigan from adopting stronger Great Lakes protections than the federal government and to put their district under the land cap, limiting future outdoor recreation opportunities.

In west Michigan’s 70th District, former state representative Mike Huckleberry is challenging incumbent Rick Outman. Huckleberry earned a 94% rating on environmental and conservation issues from Michigan LCV during his 2009-2010 term. Outman, by contrast, has publicly stated that he supports drilling in the Great Lakes and also voted for the “No Stricter Than Federal” bill vetoed by Gov. Snyder last November.

Michigan LCV’s policy is to make a limited number of endorsements in each election cycle that are backed up with significant resources. In the 2012 primary election, Michigan LCV supported two Republicans, Rob VerHeulen and Wayne Schmidt, and one Democrat, Jon Switalski, who all won their primaries. Michigan LCV also endorsed three Republican candidates for Kent County Commission; two won their primaries.

Michigan LCV is the non-partisan political voice for Michigan’s Great Lakes, land, air, and water. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(4) organization with offices in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Royal Oak.

*An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Bruce Rendon voted for the Land Cap Bill. Rendon actually voted against it. We apologize for the error.