Tom Lamm of Clarkston shares stories of the Clarkston of his youth with congressional candidate Elissa Slotkin. The office seeker was going door to door with her husband, Dave Moore, at right, and volunteers to introduce herself to residents. Photo by Phil Custodio
BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
Congressional candidate Elissa Slotkin’s knocks were going mostly unanswered during a canvas of Clarkston, Saturday afternoon, when she reached the home of Sally and Tom Lamm.
The Clarkston couple invited the candidate, her husband Dave Moore, and Mela Louise Norman, campaign manager, inside out of the snow to talk about issues and some history of the village.
“I’ve been around here a long time. It’s going to be very hard to get elected in this district,” Tom said. “The district was created to be Republican – it was Gerrymandered so badly.”
“It’s going to be tough but I wish you luck,” Sally said. “You go, girl.”
“I encourage you in what you are doing. I wish I could do more,” Tom said.
“You are encouraging us today by inviting us inside,” Moore said.
Slotkin, who lives in Holly on her family farm, is running as a Democrat for the U.S. Congress District 8 seat, which includes Clarkston, northern Oakland County, and parts of Ingham and Livingston counties.
“It’s clear that Michiganders are ready for a new generation of leaders who they see are ready to put the public first,” she said. “I’m proud to run a campaign powered by real people, by individuals, by hard work. Michiganders are sick and tired of their representatives being bought and sold by the big corporations who write the big checks.”
Slotkin kicked off her grassroots, volunteer campaign in Clarkston on Jan. 23 in the basement lounge of the Union restaurant.
“Sixty-three people showed up from across northern Oakland County, including a good number from Rochester,” she said. “A lot of folks talk about the environment, preserving open spaces, concerns about water, whether their kids can find well paid careers in Michigan. Everyone says they are sick of the partisanship in Washington. They’re talking about getting things done.”
She’s looking to represent both Democrats and Republicans, in a bipartisan approach.
“We’re trying to incorporate the lessons of the 2016 election – throw out the old playbook, not wait until the snow melts,” she said.
About a dozen volunteers joined the candidate in her first canvas of the year, to introduce the candidate and talk to residents about their important issues.
“She supports the causes I support,” said Laura Kotasek of Oxford, who is working for the first time on a national-campaign canvasing. “It’s great to meet people who want to help make the changes we really need.”
“It will be interesting to find what issues are important. I don’t want to guess,” Slotkin said. “I want to hear directly from the people of Clarkston.”
She served three tours in Iraq with the Central Intelligence Agency, under both Republican and Democratic administrations at the White House with the Office of the Director for National Intelligence, and in the Pentagon. She joined the CIA after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C.
Moore is a former Apache attack helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army who retired as a colonel after 30 years of service.
She is running in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Congressman Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) for the seat this fall. The general election will be on Nov. 6.