Bipartisan Coalition of Michigan Leaders Unite in Support of Core Democratic Principles

Michigan Press Release

Today, democracyFIRST announced that a bipartisan coalition of former Michigan elected officials joined together to publicly reinforce their commitment to uphold, defend, and strengthen the principles of democracy and law in our elections. These leaders and others have all agreed to the democracyFIRST Promise, a commitment that outlines key principles necessary for integrity, transparency, and accountability in governance and encourages 2024 candidates at all levels to join them.

The democracyFIRST Promise is a pledge individuals take supporting core democratic principles. The leaders making the Promise today commit to support every eligible citizen’s freedom to exercise their right to register and vote in free, fair, accessible, safe, and secure elections, and additionally to

  • Denounce any attempt to intimidate, harass, threaten, or incite violence against opponents, their supporters, and election workers.
  • Restore trust and faith in our democracy, not undermining our electoral process by knowingly propagating falsehoods and misinformation. 
  • Call upon candidates to accept the final election result and certify the results in accordance with the law after all ballots are counted and to support the peaceful transfer of power and certification of the election, including accepting that election irregularities, or requests for recounts of election contests, will be reviewed in good faith under the law without intimidation, violence, undermining faith in elections through disinformation or other unlawful means.

Launching ahead of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference, this initial group of leaders includes influential figures from both major political parties, indicating a broad effort to ensure democracy works for everyone in Michigan. The coalition will take a firm and public stance this election season to instill confidence in the process and set a clear standard for democratic principles and civic responsibility.

On the Republican side, members include:
State Rep. Al Pscholka, former Majority Caucus Leader and Representative of District 79 from 2010 to 2017.

•State Rep. Rob VerHeulen, former Majority Whip and Representative of District 74 from 2013 to 2018.

State Rep. Joseph Haveman, former Representative of District 90 from 2009 to 2015.

State Rep. Jack O’Malley, former Representative of District 101 from 2019 to 2023, former Majority Whip.

On the Democratic side, members include:
Mayor Dave Bing, businessman and former Mayor of Detroit from 2009 to 2014.

•State Sen. Jim Ananich, former Senate Minority Leader and Representative of District 27 from 2013 to 2023.

“This coalition is a testament to what we can accomplish when we remain committed to the rule of law and put fidelity to our democratic principles ahead of party loyalty and political ambition,” said Rob VerHeulen, former State Representative and former Chair of the Kent County Republican Party.

The coalition will release more endorsements of the Promise in the coming weeks–including leaders in business, law, and other current and former elected officials.

For media inquiries or to schedule interviews with coalition members, please contact Tim Mulvey at [email protected].

For more information about the coalition and democracyFIRST’s ongoing initiatives, please visit