A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Last year, Don Volaric offered his expertise in the insurance business to U.S. Congressman Sander Levin.

Volaric, who owns a small health insurance agency, was upset about what he said was incorrect information on health care coming from both parties. Levin was his congressman.

"They said, 'Thanks but no thanks,' " said Volaric.

Now, Volaric has decided to run against Levin in the 12th Congressional District, which is north of Detroit and includes Southfield, Warren and Clinton Township.

Volaric, a Republican, said he isn't facing a primary, something that will be confirmed today as this is the deadline for filing to run for office in Michigan.

Volaric faces a Democrat who already has raised just more than $1 million for his campaign. And Levin was recently promoted to chairman of the prominent Ways & Means Committee.

Although the Volaric campaign doesn't think it will be able to outspend Levin, they are hoping they can use Levin's newfound prominence in President Barack Obama's administration against him to generate a national campaign.

"We are trying to bring Sander Levin to national attention," Volaric said. "He is a rubber stamper for Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. ... They are the Four Amigos."

Kelly Harrigan, Volaric's campaign manager, said that's one way they can knock off Levin, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982.

"It's all the Tea Party folks who are ticked off across the country who want to go after national players, big players," Harrigan said. "That tears down the idea that Democrats are unbeatable in certain areas."

Levin has raised $1.03 million thus far.

Harrigan said her candidate's campaign has just started and they have $13,000. She said she thinks $500,000 is a realistic goal.

The Michigan Education Association says members may leave only in the month of August. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has set up www.AugustOptOut.org to help inform MEA members of their rights.


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