ANN ARBOR, MI - Washtenaw County Commissioner Jason Morgan, D-Ann Arbor, announced his bid for state House, according to a campaign release Thursday.
He seeks to replace Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, for the 53rd District seat, since Rabhi is term-limited.
Morgan, a county commissioner for District 8 and the chairman of the board from 2019-21, touted his progressive roots and political experience in the county as reasons to run.
“This year has been a challenge for almost everybody,” Morgan said in a statement. “Perhaps one of the greatest lessons we can take from it is that we need experienced leaders who have the strength to stand with Ann Arbor. That’s always important, but especially when it’s hard.”
Morgan’s potential path to Lansing mirrors that of Rabhi, who served as a Washtenaw County Commissioner for District 8 from 2010-16. Morgan succeeded Rabhi on the board when Rabhi was sworn into the state House in 2017.
Morgan hopes to continue the “proud, progressive legacy” left by Rabhi, as well as former state representative and current state Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor.
“If you elect me as your state representative, I will fight for a Michigan that works for everybody—no matter your race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability-status, or socioeconomic status,” Morgan said in a statement.
Morgan also listed priorities such as fighting recent Republican proposals to limit absentee ballot voting and more, protecting the environment and reforming Michigan’s “student to prison” pipeline system.
He also wanted to make it clear that it is no coincidence that he is announcing his campaign during Pride Month since he’s the county’s first-ever LGBTQ board chairman.
“I am proudly, openly LGBT and believe we need more representation in Lansing,” he told MLive. “We currently have four out of 140 legislators who are LGBTQ...that’s about 2%, which is extraordinarily low when it comes to having adequate representation.”
Early supporters for his campaign include Rep. Felicia Brabec, D-Pittsfield Twp., and Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor.
“Jason’s collaborative spirit, local government experience, and desire to serve his constituents will make him a strong and effective legislative partner,” Brabec said in a statement.
“Jason has the energy, drive and compassion needed to be an effective voice for Ann Arbor residents,” Taylor said in a statement. “I look forward to working with him to move our community forward.”
State Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, offered his endorsement, as well. Both he and Morgan are openly LGBTQ. In addition, 17 current and former Ann Arbor City Council members endorsed him, according to the release.
“It was very important before I announced to talk with all the folks that I’ve been working with over the past 10 years of being deeply engaged in Ann Arbor politics,” he said. “I’m very proud to have the support of quite a few of them.”
The current 53rd state House district includes most of Ann Arbor, though new district lines are being drawn by the State of Michigan Citizens Redistricting Committee. Morgan will run in the Democratic primary currently scheduled for Aug. 2, 2022.
The general election will take place on Nov. 8, 2022.