By Ray Hanania
Dennis Denno, the chief of staff to Michigan State Senator Virgil Smith said that Smith defeated fellow Democratic challenger State Rep. Rashida Tlaib because she lacked strong connections to the senate district in a radio interview Friday on Yahala Voice “Talk of the Town” Radio..
Tlaib represented a nearby State House seat for three terms (6 years) but was forced to retire this Fall because of Michigan Term Limits. Denno said that Smith was a well known and popular Democrat whose family has a long history of public service. His father served in the legislature more than 20 years, and noted that only about 10 percent of Tlaib’s voter base was in the Senate District battle.
Denno, who is also a political consultant, discussed the election battle and also offers insights into the landslide re-nomination of Tea Party Republican and Palestinian U.S. Congressman Justin Amash. Amash, a former Michigan state legislator, has served in Congress two terms representing the 3rd Congressional District. His father is Palestinian and his mother is Syrian.
Amash was challenged by rightwing extremist Brian Ellis but easily won more than 57 percent of the district vote. Some of his opposition came from his decision to not support the election of Congressman John Boehner as Republican House Speaker. Click to read a review of the Amash primary contest.
Amash is chairman of the Liberty Caucus in the U.S. House that has more than 33 members. The Liberty caucus is the Tea Party.
Denno also discusses the candidacy of Democrat Rashid Baydoun who ran an impressive second place in a field of 8 candidates to fill a vacancy caused by the decision of State Rep. Dennis Knezek to run for the Michigan State Senate. Click to read a background on Baydoun’s candidacy.
Denno was the guest on Talk of the Town Radio broadcast live on Yahala Voice Radio and WCEV 1450 AM radio in Chicago on Friday August 8, 2014. Talk of the Town is broadcast every Friday at 4 pm CST (Chicago time) live online and live on Chicagoland radio.