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November 01, 2006 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-01

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2B The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 1, 2006

WedesayNoembr , 006 - heMihianDily 11

Life in a one-man race

I

4B CANDIDATE PROFILES
Check out the candidates'
answers to our question-
naires to see how they stand
on the issues.
6B ECONOMIC FUTURES
University professors critique
Granholm and DeVos's eco-
nomic plans.
8B RACES TO WATCH
What you should follow on
election night: the lowdown
on the closest and most
exciting races across the
country.

10B THE PROPOSALS
What to consider while
deciding how to vote on the
five ballot proposals in this
year's election.
12B WHERE TO VOTE
Find your house/dorm/apart-
ment on our district map and
figure out where and when to
show up at the polls.
Government Editor: Christina Hldreth
Government Reporters:
Andrew Grossman
DaveMekelburg
Walter ownski
the Cover Art:BreanneBloomquist
PhotoEditor:Shubra Oh ri
ele ction Designers:BridgetDDnnell
Morgan McKay
EditorinChief: Donn M. Fresard
Managing Editor: Jeffrey Bloomer

JohnDingell loves runningfor
office. It's too bad he won't
have the opportunity this
year. The longtime Democratic
congressman is unopposed in his
quest for re-election in Michigan's
15th Congressional district.
So what does a man who's been
in Congress since 1955 do with all
his time?
One of his first priorities is cam-
paigning for fellow Democratic
candidates. He is glad to help fight
difficult electoral battles, he said,
and his senior standing helps him
drum up support.
That doesn't just include the
standard stumping for highly vis-
ible positions like governor. He
has been campaigning for offices
from state senator and represen-
tative all the way down to county
commissioner.
Immediately following a rally
for Gov. Jennifer Granholm yes-
terday, he gushed over the "great
governor," all but guaranteeing
a win for the Democrat. When
approached by a constituent, Din-
gell promised her that he would
bring out the vote in his district,
specifically in Monroe County.
"She's a great governor in every
way. I think Jennifer Granholm is
not only a great governor but she's
going to be elected and she's going
to be an even greater governor
when she gets a Democratic leg-
islature and house to work with,"
he said.
Dingell hasn't always had a
smooth path to re-election. With-
out hesitation, the longest-serving
congressman recalled the most
contested elections in his storied
political past.

Twice his district has been
redrawn - once in 1964 and again
in 2002. This forced difficult elec-
tions, pitting him against other
incumbents. In 1964, he said, the
Wall Street Journal gave him a
one-in-15 chance of surviving the
race. His win capped off a stretch
of tough elections at the outset of
the representative's career.
"The first 10 years I was in Con-
gress, I had a bad fight every elec-
tion year," said Dingell.
When asked about how he felt
after making it through more
than 50 years of elections, Dingell
grinned and said, "It feels mighty
good."
Dingell said he is trying to act
as though involved in a tight race.
While he is able to allot more time
toward campaigning for allies
and the occasional moment with
friends, he spends a large portion
of his day with constituents.
"I regard campaigning as fun,"
he said. "I enjoy getting around
and seeing my people."
While in Washington over the
weekend to handle some business
and attend a wedding, Dingell
returned to Michigan to get back
to the campaign and to his con-
stituents. Big issues in his district
include senior citizens' rights and
environmental conservation.
His concerns even include den-
tistry. On Monday, a dental group
came to Dingell's office to voice
their growing anxiety over the
decline of pediatric dentistry. All
sorts of lobbying groups come to
see what the congressman can do
about their problems.
Though he normally works
in his local office, he sometimes

brings work home. He works
closely with community pastors
and sometimes invites them and
their wives to his house for dinner
to discuss problems facing their
parishes and communities.
Dingell acknowledged that his
heavy incumbency and the nature
of his office allow him to work as
much or as little as he wants, but he
said he never puts anything but his
strongest effort forward. His desire
to hear the issues and be with his
constituents - two of the things he
said he enjoys most about the cam-
paign process - is obvious.
Following the rally yesterday,
Dingell stopped and talked to
each person still around after the
speeches. He asked each their name
and remembered it when it came
time to say goodbye. His aide had
trouble convincing the 80-year-old
representative to stop chatting and
move through the crowd to stay on
schedule.
Save the possibility of a political
miracle, Dingell will still be acon-
gressman come Nov. 8. One thing's
for certain: He isn't just sitting
around during election season.

U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) with Ann Arbor gadfly David Boyle (right) and
another man at a Gov. Jennifer Granholm event at Sweetwaters Cafe yesterday.

Student -ousing )
Inter-Cooperative Council 9
Student Owned Democratically Run Since 1937L

U

Leo you have the beet leases on
campus??
Show them in our
FALL- RE AL.TY p, OF=

The Election
Guide.
Everything
you need to
know about
Nov. 7 and
some things
you don't.

The first 10 years I was in
Congress, I had a bad fight
every election year.
- U.S. Representative JOHN DINGELL
on his 25 election campaigns
throughout his 51-year congressional career

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