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Posted: 07/30/14

Candidate questionnaires for the Aug. 5 primary

      Voters will select a number of candidates during the Aug. 5 primary.
       Positions representing Macomb County that will be on the ballot include the 10th district congress representative, district 8 state senator, district 33 and 36 state representatives, district 7 county commissioner and county executive.
       The primary will also include candidates for Michigan's governor.
       The primary will decide which candidates will move on to be the Republican or Democratic candidates in the November election. Those seats that only have Republican or Democratic candidates will run unopposed on the November ballot.
       The Aug. 5 ballot will also contain a statewide proposal to amend how businesses are taxed on personal property.
       The following are responses submitted by candidates that will appear on the Aug. 5 ballot.
       RICK SNYDER (R) Did not respond.
       MARK SCHAUER (D) Did not respond.
       Occupation: Small-business owner
       Government, professional and political background: Clerk of Kent County, Michigan (1992-2000); Michigan's 41st Secretary of State (2003-2010)
       Why should voters choose you to represent them in this office? We need a senator who will put the people of Michigan first by focusing on the interests of Main Street rather than the interests of Washington and Wall Street. Washington is broken and is hurting Michigan's economy. We need people in Congress who will spend less time fighting with each other and more time fighting for the people they serve       Your top three priorities if chosen for this office: My top three priorities as United States Senator will be: 1. Jobs and economy: Putting Michigan on the road to recovery and helping our state reclaim its position as a global innovator and leader in business. 2. Repealing Obamacare: Obamacare is already hurting Michigan families and businesses. I have a health care reform plan that repeals Obamacare, improves consumer choice, and restores the doctor-patient relationship. 3. Tax reform: I believe one of the biggest obstacles to job growth today is our burdensome federal tax code. Reforming the tax code will be a top priority, and fits within my overall objective of improving the economy.
       GARY PETERS (D)
       Occupation: Member, U.S. House of Representatives
       Government, professional and political background: Rochester Hills City Council (1991-1993), Michigan State Senate (1995-2003), Lottery Commissioner (2003-2007), U.S. House of Representatives (2009-Present). I worked for 20 years in business. As a financial advisor, I helped families prepare for retirement and their children's college education. I also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve, rising to rank of Lieutenant Commander and earning a Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist designation. After 9/11, I volunteered to serve again.
       Why should voters choose you to represent them in this office? I am running for U.S. Senate because I want to continue being the independent voice Michigan middle class families and small businesses can count on. My focus has always been on the struggles families talk about around their kitchen table. Whether it was fighting to save our auto industry or making sure small businesses have the capital they need to succeed and create jobs, I have always fought to put Michigan first. In the U.S. Senate, I will continue to fight for common-sense solutions to the tough challenges facing our families, our state and our nation.
       Your top three priorities if chosen for this office: My top priority is working to reinvest in Michigan's economy and grow jobs. We have the talented workforce, the tradition of innovation, manufacturing, and agriculture success, and the entrepreneurial spirit as Michiganders to lead the nation and the globe. I will also continue to focus on small businesses, and have fought to expand access to capital for small businesses and to expand R&D tax credits to spur innovation and entrepreneurship. We also have tremendous potential to harness Michigan's resources to continue to lead in clean energy development, create jobs, and protect the Great Lakes.
       ANDREA LaFONTAINE (R) Did not respond.
       Occupation: I am a lifelong resident of Macomb County and worked for more than 28 years at the U.S. Postal Service, now retired.
       Government, professional and political background: I have been a longtime supporter of women's rights and have a long history of political activism. I believe that it is time for another voice to be heard in the 32nd district.
       Why should voters choose you to represent them in this office? Voters should choose me to represent them because there needs to be changes in the way the state of Michigan is run.
       Your top three priorities if chosen for this office: 1. Our roads are an embarrassment because funds from the gas tax, which was suppose to maintain our roads, has been diverted to other areas of the budget. We now have to ensure that the funds for our roads are used strictly for that purpose. It is a travesty that our state legislature recessed without fully addressing this issue. 2. Also, funding for our public schools has to be addressed so all children have access to quality education. 3. And finally, the tax burden that was placed on retirees must be lessened, and the entire state budget has to be revisited to prioritize the needs of everyone in Michigan. We will not get people to stay in Michigan unless we improve our roads, our school systems and have a fair tax system for everyone.
       KEN GOIKE (R) Did not respond.
       JOE RUFFIN (D) Did not respond.
       STAN GROT (R) Did not respond.
       PETER J. LUCIDO (R)
       Occupation: Attorney and counselor at law; publisher of Macomb Now magazine, Macomb County's exclusive lifestyle magazine.
       Government, professional and political background: I have 25+ years as a small businessman and practicing attorney and counselor at law. I founded and publish Macomb Now magazine.. This is my first run for political office.
       Why should voters choose you to represent them in this office? The voters should choose me because I will bring a business background to Lansing. For too long the state House has been filled with special interests who control what happens at the expense of the people of Michigan. I will not bend to the special interests, instead I will always think about how legislation affects our families first. I am not a career politician, I seek to be a citizen legislator who will bring a brighter tomorrow for all the people of the 36th District and Michigan.
       Your top three priorities if chosen for this office: 1. Increase jobs so our bright, young talented people don't have to leave the state for opportunities and so all those who want a job can find one. We need to grow and maintain a stable tax base so we can properly plan for the future of Michigan. 2. Repair our infrastructure, especially our crumbling roads, by strengthening warranties and holding contractors accountable. 3. Improve the climate for business and our families, especially our seniors and veterans. Those who have sacrificed for us should not be the first ones to ask for more sacrifices.
       Occupation: Retired, student (physical fitness).
       Government, professional and political background: I have had two presidential appointments; three presidential volunteer awards; Michigan State Court of Administration mediator; veteran.
       Why should voters choose you to represent them in this office? The Romeo and surrounding area is in dire need of state representation. The last two term limited state representatives have not been much help to the citizenry or business. They were elected under their personal promise of "Lansing is broken and I want to fix it." Seems they got pensions for six years of part time jobs. So why not support someone more like yourselves, someone who can't even afford a "vote for me" mailing because I have to afford gas and groceries just like you. Someone who has been honest on the issues.
       Your top three priorities if chosen for this office: In two years of our everyday lives, if all we had to accomplish was three things, life would be grand. 1. I will commit to the baker's dozen. The economy of joblessness that has driven residents out of state. Ever rising fees because lawmakers are too cowardly to say no to special interest, save vast amounts of money on roads and building them, let's not forget invasive species. Start a program, three years ago, putting a "bounty" on the Asian carp. 2. And I pledge to never accept lobbyist money. I have campaigned for 16 years and not accepted special interest contributions and am happy about it. 3. Successful or not, this very last time around, I will wake make knowing I did my best. One of the biggest events of October 2014 is the grand opening of the Salvation Army's family store. Politicians and dignitaries will be in attendance claiming this is great and the local economy is rebounding.
       DAVID J. NOWAK (R) Did not respond.
       RANDELL J. SHAFER (R) Did not respond.
       ERIN A. STAHL (R)
       Occupation: I am a self-employed independent contractor.
       Government, professional and political background: I was 2007 mayor pro-tem; councilwoman from 2003-2007; and a libertarian/republican. I have a bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship from Michigan State University; a masters in finance from Walsh College. I was a former General Employee Pension Board trustee and the financial Peace University class leader. I have 25+ years with world-wide manufacturer: customer service manager, international sales, IT, market research, etc.
       Why should voters choose you to represent them in this office? While a councilwoman of the 19th most populated city of Michigan (2003-2007), I earned my master's in finance. Applying what I learned, I discovered the horrific games and accounting gimmicks used to "get" more money to "balance" the budget. Giving residents the truth, I faced threats of jail, censure and was dragged through court only to have the charges dismissed a year later. I stood firm against the demands of special interest groups, falsely manipulative reports and different projects that would financially hurt our community. Seventy percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Because of this, we need to choose leaders who will stand up for the people despite negative political pressure and take more time investigating cost-cutting ideas rather than time enhancing revenue or taking more money from us. I am that strong dedicated person Macomb County families need for our next county executive.
       Your top three priorities if chosen for this office: 1. Creating an atmosphere and policies that respect the rights, dignity and worth of all people. 2. Design Macomb County government into the example for other communities, of how to live within our means while strategically dumping our debt by using my unique way of analyzing government budgets and getting to the problem's root cause, rather than haphazardly throwing more money at the problems. 3. Defend ourselves from assault by contractors and special interests trying to make a quick buck. Let's give citizens the truth so we can fix problems and have a higher quality of life for Macomb County families.
       MARK A. HACKEL (D)
       Occupation: Macomb County Executive.
       Government, professional and political background: Associate's degree, Macomb Community College; bachelor's degree, Wayne State University; master's degree in public administration, Central Michigan. Previous Macomb County Sheriff.
       Why should voters choose you to represent them in this office?
       Your top three priorities if chosen for this office: 1. Promote and leverage Macomb County's assets. I will continue to promote our advanced manufacturing companies, our automotive production facilities and our dense cluster of defense industry suppliers that are all enviable by most other regions. I worked with the MEDC to establish the Michigan Defense Center in Sterling Heights to help promote and leverage these assets. The center serves the entire state of Michigan. Through the Blue Economy program, we are transforming our 32 miles of Lake St. Clair coastline and the Clinton River into national attractions. After hosting the Bass Masters Tournament in 2013, professional bass angler, Kevin VanDamm pronounced Lake St. Clair as the "best smallmouth fishery on the planet." 2. Make Macomb Your Home. I started the Make Macomb Your Home program to promote the benefits and opportunities Macomb County offers all of our residents. From waterfront to country-side communities, award-winning schools to world-renowned companies, Macomb delivers community assets for everyone in the county. 3. Deliver ethical and accountable government. This was the first four years of our new form of government. We balanced the budget, eliminated $60 million in deficit spending and consolidated Public Safety Dispatch, Emergency Management, Department of Roads and IT services in the new COMTEC facility. I will continue to be a steward of responsible government.
       DON BROWN (R)
       Occupation: Macomb County Commissioner; Deputy District Director, Congresswoman Candice Miller.
       Government, professional and political background: Macomb County Commissioner; Macomb Orchard Trail Commission; Macomb County Republican Party Executive Committee; S.E. Michigan Liaison, Michigan Secretary of State; Associate Director, Governor John Engler's S.E. Michigan Office; Independent insurance agent; Washington Township trustee. Harvard University, certificate, John F. Kennedy School of Government; Oakland University, B.A. political science.
       Why should voters choose you to represent them in this office? I have a record of community service and advancing projects for Northern Macomb such as; Macomb Orchard Trail; Romeo Trailside Park, various bridge replacements, paving Van Dyke, Mound Road etc. I advocate for the individual citizen who needs assistance in working with government at any level. I'll work with our businesses, county executive and others in local government to promote and cultivate economic growth. I've been active in our community serving in the Washington Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, St. Clement Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, and a member of North Macomb Sportsmen Club and NRA. I'm proud to be endorsed by the Macomb County Farm Bureau and the only candidate to be endorsed by Right to Life of Michigan.
       Your top three priorities if chosen for this office: 1. Create a climate needed to retain and attract jobs through lower county taxes, working with employers as they diversify, and market our world class work force to attract additional investment. 2. We in county government must insure checks and balances are in balance to protect the interests of the taxpayers; reduce the size and cost of its operation and continue to pass balanced budgets that will not require a tax increase. 3. Continue the limestone applications on gravel roads and bring additional infrastructure dollars to northern Macomb County.
       JEROME G. QUINN SR. (D) Did not respond.

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