The last thing Michigan's 8th District Republican Rep. Mike Rogers wants this year is a strong Democrat to run against him. After all, Rogers wants to be free to run around the country and help elect other Republicans to Congress, rather than bother having to explain to the citizens of this area why he deserves to be sent back to Congress for another term.
But a vigorous Democrat with strong, appealing credentials already has appeared -- Kande Ngalamulume. Kande, who grew up in East Lansing, is young and energetic. With a background in business and financial services, Kande also has a strong commitment to public service. He has tutored children in reading and writing, mentored young orphans, and volunteered at church camps.
Kande has put continued economic growth at the top of his agenda. Financial reform -- pushing bailed-out banks to begin lending again, protecting families from foreclosure, and reforming regulation of the financial sector to prevent reckless behavior by banks -- is part of the answer Kande offers.
In the short term, Kande also calls for more federal investment in Michigan's infrastructure to create jobs. In the long run, Kande wants Congress to institute "pay as you go" budgeting.
Kande says he got interested in politics when he realized how many students from his high school graduating class had left Michigan for jobs. He wants that to stop.
So do we all.