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Posted on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 11:34 a.m.

Bob Davidow drops out of running for Michigan's 55th District state House race

By Ryan J. Stanton

One of three Democratic candidates in the race for the 55th District state House seat is withdrawing his name.

After much thought, Pittsfield Township resident Bob Davidow said he has decided not to run for the seat held by state Rep. Rick Olson, R-York Township.

That leaves two Democrats — Ann Arbor resident Adam Zemke and Andrea Brown-Harrison, a first-term Pittsfield Township trustee — in the running for the August primary.


Bob Davidow

Olson still hasn't decided whether he will run as a Republican or a Democrat this year. He's considering switching parties after redistricting left him in a more Democratic district.

Davidow said he's grateful to those who supported his candidacy, and he vowed to fully support other Democrats in November.

He said he concluded he could best serve the community by focusing more on a few areas that are currently of greatest interest to him: campaign finance reform — including the effort to overturn Citizens United through a constitutional amendment, and the addition of public financing of elections — and reform of methods of judicial selection.

The U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision held the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting political expenditures by corporations and unions and paved the way for Super PACs that can accept unlimited contributions.

"I continue to believe that Michigan spends too much money on prisons and not enough on education and that Michigan's flat income tax is fundamentally unfair," Davidow said in a statement shared with "I continue to oppose so-called 'right to work' legislation because such laws have the effect of weakening or destroying unions, which have been responsible for the creation and maintenance of the middle class."

Davidow, a University of Michigan Law School graduate, is a retired criminal defense lawyer who has also taught law at several universities. He ran unsuccessfully for the Pittsfield Township county commissioner's seat in 2006.

The redrawn 55th District includes Augusta Township, York Township, Pittsfield Township, Ann Arbor Township and part of Ann Arbor.


Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Chase Ingersoll

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

Unfortunately, the studies have shown, (I've previously posted on this) that the majority of voters are at best fundamentally ignorant on a wide variety of important issues, or at wost, blatantly dis-informed on important issues. Further, many voters cast their ballot based upon little more than name recognition, party recognition or some racial, gender or personal bias, that has nothing to do with the candidates positions or ability or lack thereof to perform the position. Before any of you get upset about my statements above, do your own search for studies...and books that show the difference in characteristics and knowledge base of the average member of the two main political parties. Also, if you are really serious about having informed voters then you would have no object to requiring every citizen to vote, but only allowing them to vote on those offices where they could find the name of the person they wished to vote for from an alphabetized lists. That way they could not just vote for a party and would have to actually know the name of the candidate for a particular office. The point being if that someone is so uninformed as to not be able to identify the name of the person they are voting for, we probably are better off if they don't cast a ballot for that office. And yes, there are some offices for which even I would not end up casting a ballot. Chase Ingersoll

Kristin Judge

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 8:57 p.m.

Changing parties just to get elected will not sit well with voters in the 55th. Serving Washtenaw County is a priviledge. If the you cannot get elected by being true to your beliefs, maybe you should not be in office. Adam Zemke is honest, professional and cares about serving. He has my vote!

Monica R-W

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 6:39 a.m.

Ms. Judge, totally agree with your assessment.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

Does Rick Olson think the voters in the 55th district are stupid? Does he really think that we'll ignore his conservative voting record and vote for him because he now calls himself a Democrat? Mr. Olson, don't insult our intelligence. Take Bridget's advice and get a lobbying job. That's the only way you'll still be in Lansing after January 2013.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

No Democrat is going to vote for Rick Olson, the enemy of workers, so he might as well go get his lobbyist job quickly, while he can. Certainly, educators won't vote for him. Olson wants teachers and retirees to pay more so insurance company executives can get bigger bonuses and give more to Republican election campaigns, like his.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 3:44 a.m.

Basic Bob - You never miss something to do with Pittsfield. What's up with the Hickory Pointe 'hood that's got you so down?

Basic Bob

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

Wake up! Insurance company executives support Democrats, too. And they get bonuses no matter who gets elected. Take a look at Blue Cross Blue Shield PAC. The top contributions in the last national election went to Boehner (R), Stabenow (D), and Obama (D),. AIG executives gave to both parties as well.