Damn. As soon as it started, it's over.
The Kande Ngalamulume campaign sent out a press release this morning saying that the campaign is over. Here's what he said in a release:
"It is with a grieving heart that I must announce I am ending my campaign for Congress. After two difficult months of trying to get this grass roots campaign off the grounds, it is now apparent to me that there is not enough interest amongst the political establishment and many constituents in this district to replace Mike Rogers in Congress. As a result, I am suspending my campaign at once.
"All along, I knew that trying to unseat a five-term incumbent would be a rather difficult proposition; however, I did not let that deter me from jumping into the trenches to fight for the future of this great state that I love. I will always be proud of what we were able to accomplish, with very limited resources, and in such a short period of time. There is no shame in having given this run a try. The causes for which I believe in, mainly a strong state economy with good paying jobs, affordable health care for Michiganders, fully funded education system and a renewed infrastructure, are not lessened by my leaving the race. Michigan is down right now, but I will always maintain that we can come back with strong leadership and sound policies. My passion and conviction is commensurate to the challenge we face, but at this point I am too physically, emotionally and financially spent to pursue these goals."
It's too bad, because what really struck me about Ngalamulume after I interviewed him several times was that he was all about challenging Mike Rogers, our Republican five-term Congressman (sentiments echoed in his above statement), because he thought it was the democratic thing to do. He said really cool things like, "What's the alternative? Let Rogers run unopposed?"
Well, yeah, I guess that is the alternative. Now, 8th Congressional District voters are stuck with Rogers or nothing, and that's not democracy. Ngalamulume was born in a country (the Democratic People's Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire) ruled by a dictator, and before that ruled by racist colonial authoritarians. It's going way too far to compare our congressional district with dictatorships in Africa, but we're supposed to appreciate living in America because we can refresh our leaders every few years - not sit idly by and watch them walk through an election. Especially if we do not agree with their leadership (and, certainly, not everyone in the 8th agrees with Rogers and his cute little campaign commercials).
It's un-American that people opposed to Rogers can't get the support to challenge him.