Friday, February 18, 2011

Two Exceptional House Freshmen

The two I have in mind are not exceptional in my opinion for any special speech or special award since becoming a member. They are exceptional to me because they won election into the US House from the grassroots efforts. Neither of them have ever been elected to any city or state office, and yet they won an election to a national office. The following paragraphs are brief biographies of the two I find exceptional.



Renee Jacisin Ellmers (born February 9, 1964) is the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 2nd congressional district. She is a member of the Republican Party. Ellmers defeated seven-term Democratic incumbent Bob Etheridge by 1,489 votes, confirmed after a recount. Renee Ellmers was born in Ironwood in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. When she was a child her family moved to Madison Heights, near Detroit, where her father took a job in the auto industry. He worked with General Motors until he retired.



After graduating from Madison High School, needing to work her way through college, Renee trained as a Medical Assistant. For the next eight years, working full and part-time jobs, she attended Oakland University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.



A year later, working as a Surgical Intensive Care Nurse at Beaumont Hospital she met her husband, Brent, a graduate of the University Of Indiana School Of Medicine.



After their son was born, while visiting family in Cary, NC, Renee and her husband decided to move to North Carolina. She worked with her husband as Clinical Director of the Trinity Wound Care Center in Dunn. Renee Ellmers became involved in politics after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which she opposed.



Dan Benishek, M.D. (born April 20, 1952) is the U.S. Representative for Michigan's 1st congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. Dan Benishek was born in Iron River, Michigan. His father worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps and then in the iron mines of Iron County. Dan's father died in a mining accident in 1957 and Dan’s mother, with the help of family, raised Dan and his brother, Tim.



He graduated from West Iron County High School in 1970. Dan went on to earn a B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan in 1974 and graduated from Wayne State Medical School in 1978. Dan completed a Family Practice internship in Flint at St Joseph's Hospital. He completed his General Surgery residency back at Wayne State in Detroit. He has served as a general surgeon in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in a private practice since 1983. He has worked part-time at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain for the past twenty years. Dan and his wife, Judy, currently live in Crystal Falls. They have five children and two grandchildren. Dan Benishek formally announced his candidacy on March 16, 2010. Bart Stupak's "yea" vote for H.R. 3590 fueled an outpouring of support for Benishek, who had no internet presence aside from a basic website the day the bill was passed; he received more than $50,000 in unsolicited donations in the first 48 hours after Stupak's vote for the bill on March 21, 2010.


So you see I have picked two who are yoopers by birth and conservatives by choice. Each of them were not blessed with being born into a wealthy family. They worked hard and took advantage of opportunities no other nation has to achieve success as a surgical care nurse and as a general surgeon. The achievements would not have catapulted them into winning House seats without getting support from some good people. In Dr Benishek's campaign a friend of mine, rottdawg, assists him greatly. In Renee Ellmer's campaign another friend of mine, Lori Byrd, assists her greatly. Now I have never met in person either one of these people, but I know them from communications on the internet. I like and respect both of them, and believe the feeling is mutual. The work they are doing for Dan and Renee has limited the time they now have to write blogs, but it's wonderful that they are doing a terrific job for them.



In addition to being yoopers, they share something else in common. They both had to face some close votes that almost defeated them. There are some who believe in a set of unwritten rules that have to do with how you get accepted as an electable candidate. In my opinion these folks are elitists with a shallow view of core principles. They will tell you that only someone who has run for an office and been elected to that office in their city, county, or state need apply for any national office. Only after serving as an elected official at the local level can you acquire the proper skill set of knowing how to go along to get along, how to engage in 'pay to play' arrangements with special interest groups, and how to play 'let's make a deal.' If you disagree with their views about an electable candidate, then they mock you, suggest you are mentally ill, and accuse you of consciously choosing to get Ds elected by your support for any candidate who is a noob. As my Governor has recently wrote the attitude of elitists to the rest of us has gotten us Fed Up.



I hope you take a moment to watch the vids below. The first one is especailly good with reminders by Dan of what kind of folks lived in Michigan UP in a bygone era. Cold Warrior may also appreciate his observation that people have and need to become more active at the grassroots level of the Republican Party.















Cross-posted at

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