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Election 2016: Interview with Lon Johnson, Democratic candidate for 1st District


Taking up more than 25,000 square miles, Michigan's 1st Congressional District is the biggest in the state. It makes up the entire Upper Peninsula and much of the upper part of the Lower Peninsula. It represents almost half of the state's total land area, but only represents roughly 700,000 people. 

The congressional race in Michigan's 1st has become a tight one as former Democratic Chairperson Lon Johnson is running against retired three-star U.S. Marine general Jack Bergman. Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry called it Michigan's hottest Congressional race.

Johnson brings a wealth of connections from his days as the party's chair, but will face an uphill climb in a district that historically leans Republican. 
The issue that's getting a lot of attention in the race is where the two candidates have lived. Johnson says his opponent's claims that he has been a full-time resident of Watersmeet are just not accurate. Meanwhile, Johnson says he moved to Kalkaska in 2006 and moved away for two significant periods when he was the Democratic chairperson and when his wife was working for the Obama administration.

Johnson joined Stateside to talk about this hotly-contested race.

Listen to the full interview above to hear about Johnson's take on the presidential election, and about the issues that he is focusing on in his race, which include providing high-speed internet and cell phone service to the 1st District, shutting down Enbridge Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac and protecting social security. 

(Subscribe to the Stateside podcast on iTunesGoogle Play, or with this RSS link)

Josh Hakala, a lifelong Michigander (East Lansing & Edwardsburg), comes to Michigan Radio after nearly two decades of working in a variety of fields within broadcasting and digital media.
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