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Douglas Democrat runs for Congress

Published 9:12pm Monday, April 16, 2012

Douglas Democrat Mike O’Brien will announce his candidacy for Michigan’s Sixth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday with a series of events in seven counties.
In Cass County, O’Brien will be speaking at Democratic headquarters, 804 E. State St. (near Family Dollar), Cassopolis, from 1 to 1:30 Saturday. Free hot dogs will be served for lunch.
A former Marine, O’Brien enlisted 28 years ago — “about the time Congressman Fred Upton was becoming part of the entrenched Washington establishment,” he said.
Upton is facing a Republican primary rematch from Jack Hoogendyk, a 2003-2009 state representative from Kalamazoo.
After the Marines, O’Brien put himself through college (Washington University) while working fulltime.
“I felt I had a debt to repay,” he said, “and that service to others in the defense of our nation was a noble calling.
“I rose through the ranks and served with pride and distinction as a Reconnaissance Marine, always mindful of the honor of serving one’s nation.”
While building and leading the real estate department of the Holland-based trucking company USF Holland, O’Brien and his family grew a successful farming operation in the Fennville and Holland areas.
They raised grass-based, organic meats, sold directly to local families and restaurants.
They grew the family farm until 2008, when “the Bush recession devastated the local economy and the farm with it.”
“Through hard work and good fortune, I quickly found work as the director of development for a leading offshore wind energy company, during which time I also served on Gov. Granholm’s Offshore Wind Council,” he said.
“Today I work for Herman Miller, where I help lead the development and commercialization of new product designs for Michigan’s leading furniture manufacturer,” he said. “I am running as the Democratic candidate for Michigan’s Sixth Congressional District because I love my country and believe in service to a larger cause.
“I am committed to ensuring that all Americans — particularly the next generations — have all of the blessings and opportunities that I have had in my life,” O’Brien said.

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