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Bergman vs. Lorinser should be competitive race for US House

Well, it’s official. Dr. Bob Lorinser has declared his candidacy for the First Congressional District seat presently held by Jack Bergman.

Lorinser, 65, who works as head of the Marquette County Health Department, rolled out the announcement last week, to the surprise of absolutely no one who has been paying attention.

He will run as a Democrat. Bergman is a Republican.

“I can represent the needs of our community at a national level and I can be an effective member of Congress, guiding America on a national and worldwide stage under the ideals and principles of what it means to be a proud American,” Lorinser said in a prepared speech.

Lorinser, who is something of a political novice, will have his hands full in campaigning against Bergman. A retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant general, the representative is resourceful and experienced. And, he represents a district that is solidly Republican; Michigan’s first, which includes the Upper Peninsula and the northernmost counties in the Lower Peninsula, has voted Republican in every presidential race since 1996 with one exception, 2008.

Put another way, Bergman can count on a lot of baked-in support that Lorinser is going to have to earn the old-fashioned way.

So how does he approach it? In our experience, campaigns are typically won and lost on issues and ideas, so look for Lorinser to talk economics and pandemic.

The district continues, as many locations in the nation continue, to struggle with employment development and resource allocation. And COVID-19 cases continue to climb.

But using Donald Trump’s job performance and the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C., are probably going to be non-starters for Lorinser. While Bergman is a staunch Trump backer, the district voted overwhelmingly for Trump in both 2016 and 2020.

However it’s played, keep a close eye on this campaign. We’re predicting a real tussle and one that may give some indication on how the 2024 presidential election will play out in the first district.

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