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Monday, 21 April 2008

ANN ARBOR, MI -- Socialist Matt Erard announced his candidacy today to run for a second time against Democratic incumbent Rebekah Warren for the 53rd District seat in the Michigan House of Representatives. Erard ran as a Socialist for the same office for the first time in the previous election in 2006. Due to the Socialist Party's lack of ballot access in Michigan, Erard was forced to appear on the 2006 ballot as a candidate with "No Party Affiliation" and was the first candidate for that office to qualify for the general election ballot by petition since 1984. Although not victorious in the last election, Erard received eight-hundred and forty-seven votes from Ann Arbor voters.

This year, Erard will be listed on the ballot as a candidate of the Green Party and will be dually campaigning as both a Socialist Party and Green Party candidate. He received the Socialist Party's nomination to run on April 18th and intends to formally receive the nomination of the Green Party at its upcoming Washtenaw County nominating convention. "Michigan's extraordinarily restrictive ballot access laws have rarely stopped Socialist Party candidates from qualifying for the ballot in Michigan elections," Erard said. "In this race, our campaign will have the support of two parties committed to challenging the corporate politics that dominate our State Legislature."

Erard argues that Warren, since first elected in 2006, has done little to change the course of attacks on the rights and living standards of Michigan working people. "[Warren's] most significant accomplishment thus far has been the exponential increase in corporate campaign funding she's received," the introduction to Erard's 2008 campaign website states. Erard contends that Warren has failed to introduce the meagerly progressive proposals in her 2006 platform while voting to fully fund corporate welfare and the prison industrial complex, rather than essential social and environmental programs.

During his 2006 campaign, Erard was an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan. Having graduated last year with a bachelor's degree in political science and sociology, Erard is returning to the University of Michigan this fall to pursue a master's degree in its School of Social Work. While employed in the telecommunications industry, Erard is also serving as the Chairperson of the Socialist Party of Michigan, the founding organizer for the Michigan Third Parties Coalition, and the Midwest Coordinator for the Socialist Party's 2008 presidential campaign, and the Planning Convener for the Socialist Party's National Organizing Conference to be held in Ann Arbor this July.

The Socialist Party chartered a new local branch in the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti last January, which operates in conjunction with the local branch of fellow socialist organization, Solidarity, as the Washtenaw County Reds. Erard's campaign is among five Socialist Party campaigns announced in Michigan thus far. Jean Treacy of Marquette and Dwain Reynolds of Midville are seeking the joint nomination of the Green Party of Michigan for 1st District Representative in Congress and State Board of Education respectively. The Socialist Party's ticket of Brian Moore for President and Stewart Alexander for Vice President is exploring options to qualify for the Michigan ballot this year and is filing for Official Write-In Status in Michigan as a back-up.

Erard notes that Ann Arbor voters elected multiple candidates of the Socialist Party-affiliated Human Rights Party to the City Council in 1972 and 1976 who introduced many of the radical and progressive policies Ann Arbor has been most well known for. "Michigan voters are only more fed-up with being ignored by the major parties than they were in the early 70s," Erard said. "This time we are prepared to make an even bigger splash than we did in 2006, and quite possibly, make it to the Capitol."

Erard's 2008 Campaign Website can be found at

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