John Espinoza

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John Espinoza

John Espinoza (born 1950 in Texas) is a State Representative representing the 83rd District of Michigan.


  • BS, Regents College, State University of New York, 1995
  • AA, Central Texas College, 1994
  • Teaching Certification, Saginaw Valley State University.[1]


  • Teacher, Carsonville-Port Sanilac School District, 1997-present
  • First Sergeant, United States Army, 1970-1971, 1976-1995
  • Police Officer, Croswell, Sheriff's Deputy, Sanilac County, 1971-1975
  • Former Military Affairs/Community Outreach Liaison, Former Congressman Jim Barcia.[2]


  • Representative, Michigan State House of Representatives, 2004-present
  • Mayor Pro Tempore, City of Croswell, 1997- present
  • Councilman, City of Croswell, Michigan, 1996-1997
  • Former Member, Sanilac County Board of Commissioners.[3]


DSA support 2004

In 2004 DSA targeted local races where control of state houses were up for grabs and where statewide electoral-vote outcomes hinged on successful local district turnouts.

Detroit DSAers isolated two state legislative races where they can make a difference in swing districts of this toss-up state. In the Detroit suburbs of Farmington/ Farmington Hills (SD 37) labor backed Democratic incumbent Aldo Vagnozzi holds his seat thanks to a 2002 upset...In Port Huron/Lexington (SD 83) former migrant farm worker John Espinoza, who opposes school vouchers, is making living wage and health care features of his campaign.

Thanks to Farm Workers leader Dolores Huerta for connecting DSA with the candidate, who is well-liked but is running a poorly financed operation. That may not matter, as his Republican opponent is caught in a scandal over use of nonprofit funds for campaign purposes.

A fund raiser was hosted by Detroit DSA chair David Green, who urges friends to “...write two checks (made out to ‘Aldo Vagnozzi for State Representative’ and ‘Committee to Elect John Espinoza’ respectively). Write ‘DSA Fundraiser’ on the memo line.”[5]

DSA victory

In Democratic Socialists of America's Democratic Left Winter 2004/2005, Theresa Alt wrote;[6]

We reported on the candidates that DSAers were supporting in the last issue of Democratic Left. How did they do?
Michigan is a success story. Both state senate candidates, the long-shot insurgent former farmworker John Espinoza and the labor-backed but Republican-targeted incumbent Aldo Vagnozzi won.

DSA electoral support

Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America has a "simple but effective electoral strategy. We endorse progressive candidates in competitive races where the focused efforts of a small group such as ours can tip the balance in favor of the progressive candidate. This strategy has served us well in electing state representatives such as Steve Bieda, Alma Wheeler Smith, John Espinoza, Aldo Vagnozzi, and Fred Miller, and state senators such as Gilda Jacobs and Hansen Clarke."

We have expanded our efforts in 2008 by endorsing four candidates instead of two candidates as we traditionally do.

In 2008 Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of Americaendorsed state representative candidates Sarah Roberts (St. Clair Shores-Harrison Township), Vicki Barnett (Farmington-Farmington Hills), Lisa Brown (West Bloomfield-Harrison Township), and Jonathan Switalski (Warren-Sterling Heights). As a result, DSA members have been canvassing, phone banking, and stuffing envelopes for one of these four candidates almost every weekend since the late summer. To date, the following members have participated in at least one (and usually several) campaign dates: Brandon Moss, Selma Goode, Michelle Fecteau, Bob Alpert, Lon Herman, Maurice Geary, Helen Samberg, Bob Frumkin, Charlie Rooney, Julie Barton, David Elsila, David Green, Dave Ivers, Michael Dover, Bill Helwig, Bob Denoweth, and Marylyn Schmidt.[7]

DSA relationship

Democratic socialists in southeastern Michigan possess a level of influence within the Michigan Democratic Party of which many American leftists dream. And "they’ve done it all without compromising their beliefs or values".

Their success has come from working with, instead of against, local Democrats.

“It starts out with relationships,” says David Green, the chair of the Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America. “Mark Brewer, the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, has a very good relationship with us. He’s spoken to our local several times. The chairs of the county parties, several of them are close friends as well.”

Since 1998, Detroit DSA, with about 250 members, has successfully partnered with local county chairs and other Democratic Party officials to promote and elect several progressive candidates to the Michigan state legislature. One of these candidates, State Rep. John Espinoza, was even elected in the heavily conservative “Thumb” region of the state. In 2004, with the backing of Detroit DSA, Espinoza became the first Democrat and the first Latino ever elected to represent Michigan’s 83rd District.[8]

Endorsed MichUHCAN

As at Feb. 1, 2011, State Rep. John Espinoza, Pt. Huron/Croswell was listed as an endorser and ongoing supporter of MichUHCAN's Health Care Security Campaign Coalition.[9] The Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network is a state-wide network that promotes comprehensive health care for all and improved health outcomes by addressing the social determinants of health through education, strategy development and advocacy. The leadership of MichUHCAN is heavily dominated by members of Democratic Socialists of America.[10]