Mark Brewer, Chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party

Mark Brewer, Chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party

“Mark Brewer has clearly demonstrated that he is effective, brilliant and loyal – passionately committed to the Democratic Party.” – Governor Jennifer Granholm

“Mark Brewer has clearly been the most effective state Democratic chairman his party has had since Neil Staebler in the 1950s.” – Bill Ballenger – MIRS (12/1/08)

“Michigan Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer is in a small group of long-serving, highly regarded chairmen.” – Campaign and Elections, April 2006 

“The Michigan Democratic Party is on the cutting edge and many of its operations should serve as models for other parties.” – The Democratic National Committee, September, 2001

Mark Brewer is the longest serving Michigan Democratic Chair since the 1950”s and is the senior Democratic state party chair in the country.

Active in the Michigan Democratic Party for over 30 years, Mark Brewer has an extensive record of successful grassroots activity. A 1973 graduate of Mount Clemens High School, Brewer obtained his A.B. with Honors from Harvard College in 1977 and his law degree from Stanford University Law School in 1981 where he served on the law review. After working for two years for federal and state courts, he joined Sachs, Waldman, O’Hare, Helveston, Hodges and Barnes, PC in 1983, becoming a shareholder in 1989. He resigned from the firm upon becoming Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

Brewer received his start in politics as a summer intern for Congressman David Bonior in 1977 and was involved in every reelection campaign of Congressman Bonior until 2000. From 1984 until 1993, Brewer served as President of the Clinton Township Democratic Club. The largest Township in Michigan, Clinton Township is home to nearly 90,000 residents and is a key political battleground in Macomb County, itself a key to winning Michigan elections. Under Brewer’s leadership, the Democratic Club became one of the most influential Clubs in the County and it served as a model for the creation of other clubs in Macomb County.

In 1983, Brewer also became a member of the former 12th Congressional District Democratic Committee, and joined the Executive Board in 1987. In 1992, he received the Committee’s first Outstanding Service Award for his work. In 1993, Brewer was elected Chair of the 10th District, the successor to the 12th District following reapportionment.

Brewer also has been a member of the Macomb County Democratic Committee since 1982, and an Executive Committee member from 1986 until 1997. He was elected Treasurer in 1990 and served in that role until 1993.

In addition to these activities, Brewer has served as a Precinct Delegate, been active in Michigan Young Democrats, been a delegate to local, state and national conventions, and has been involved in many local, state, congressional, and ballot question campaigns in every role including campaign manager.

He served from 1983 until 1995 as Assistant General Counsel to the Michigan Democratic Party, handling many matters such as reapportionment, election law, campaign finance law, recounts, interpretations of the Party’s rules, election day legal counseling, defamation claims, and service as parliamentarian at several Party Conventions.

In February 1995, Brewer was elected Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. He was reelected in February 1997, February 1999, February 2001, February 2005, February 2007, February 2009, and February 2011. He was elected Executive Chair in February 2003.

He was elected President of the Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC) and DNC Vice-Chair 3 times, serving from 2003 until 2009. During that time, he led the ASDC to its endorsement of Howard Dean as DNC Chair and he worked with Dean to implement his very successful 50-State Strategy.

Brewer was a delegate to the 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 Democratic National Conventions and served as Chair of the Michigan delegations at all of those Conventions.

Among his other accomplishments as Chair of the MDP, Michigan Democrats have carried the state for the Democratic Presidential candidate in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008, won five straight U.S. Senate races, including electing Senator Stabenow in 2000 and reelecting her in 2006, elected Governor Granholm in 2002 and reelected her in 2006, won nearly 2/3 of all statewide education board races, defeated GOP Chief Justice Cliff Taylor in 2008, worked to elect hundreds of county and municipal officials, used ballot questions as part of their campaign strategy and developed innovative programs to turn out absentee and young voters. Brewer was also the principal author of the MDP’s 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 Delegate Selection Plans, two of which included an innovative Vote by Mail feature which allowed Michigan Democrats to cast votes by mail to select the party’s presidential nominee. The 2004 Plan also successfully used an internet voting option. Brewer has also expanded the Party’s constituencies, improved its fundraising, revised the MDP’s Rules, upgraded its technology and has expanded the MDP’s communications and research efforts.

Brewer has testified on election and campaign finance issues before the Michigan Legislature and Michigan government agencies, in federal court and before the Federal Election Commission.

Brewer has also been a guest lecturer on political parties and the political process at Oakland University, University of Michigan, and University of Michigan-Dearborn.