SAGINAW, Mich. — When you discuss politics in the suburbs surrounding Saginaw, you generally bring up God and guns. Progressive politics has been completely off the radar … until this year’s election night.

Amy Seaver, first-time Democratic candidate for Saginaw Township Trustee, stunned local politicos when she staged the upset of the day by winning election in the Republican stronghold.

Running on the issues of jobs, quality of life and urban sprawl, Seaver was able to become one of the first Democrats ever elected in Saginaw Township. Democrat Tim Braun was also elected township supervisor. Saginaw Township has never elected a Democrat before.

What makes Seaver’s campaign unique is that she is a known progressive in the community. She has been active in the fight against the Iraq war with Tri-City Action for Peace, was endorsed by the UAW CAP Council, and is outspoken on environmental issues. Normally this is a recipe for disaster in mid-Michigan politics.

Braun, on the other hand, is a former Republican, now turned conservative Democrat. He was endorsed by the Saginaw News, has been the Saginaw Township Clerk for over 20 years, and was endorsed by retiring Township Supervisor George Olson.

These factors make Seaver’s victory all the more remarkable. She spent less than $1,000 on her campaign, all of it on signs and literature. Her family and friends helped her distribute close to 10,000 pieces of literature, going door-to-door.

Grassroots politics can win elections. Seaver is living proof of that. If a progressive victory can happen in Saginaw Township, it can happen anywhere.