District 80 Michigan House of Representatives: Ludwig, Whiteford

Democrat Mark Ludwig of Fennville is challenging incumbent Republican state Rep. Mary Whiteford of Casco Township for a two-year term in the Michigan House of Representatives District 80.

The district includes all of Allegan County except Dorr, Leighton and Wayland townships and the City of Wayland.

Candidates were asked to provide a brief background about themselves as well as answer the same set of 11 questions.

 

Mark Ludwig

Democrat

Ludwig and his wife Kim moved to Clyde Township in 2005. They have a daughter and a small cattle farm. He is the vice chair of the Allegan Conservation District. As a board member or employee of ACD throughout the last 10 years, he works with area farmers and landowners to conserve resources and improve water quality. He served on the Fennville school board and Clyde Township Planning Commission from 2012 to 2016. He graduated from Michigan State in 1992 with a degree in Environmental Issues and has a Short Course Degree from the University of Wisconsin in Grass Based Dairy.

 

1. Do you believe the state needs to commit more funds toward road improvement? If so, what method to do that would you support?

Yes. Higher gas taxes

 

2. Be it funding or policy, what is your major goal when addressing public education?

Equalize per pupil funding levels.  Stop meddling with standards and systems and allow teachers to do their work.

 

3. What will you pursue to protect places like public schools from mass shootings?

Fund building security improvements. Fund mental health programs sufficiently.

 

4. What is your primary goal when addressing the state budget?

Keep it balanced.

 

5. What are your legislative priorities if elected?

Address climate change through infrastructure modernization and massive green energy programs. Promote no-till agriculture through our existing institutions. Develop single payer healthcare.

 

6. What is your stance on abortion?

Pro Choice.

 

7. List any organizations that have endorsed your campaign.

LEAP forward, Mothers Demand Action, Pullman Progressives, Equality Michigan Pride PAC

 

8. What strategies do you plan to pursue to reduce the price of Michigan’s auto insurance rates?

Repair the roads, implement single payer health insurance to lower costs to the long term care portion of the insurance, encourage action by the insurance commissioner and Attorney General’s office.

 

9. Do you have any goals to help make health insurance more available and/or affordable?

Develop single payer at the state level if the feds aren’t trying.

 

10. What can be done to bring high-speed internet service to more rural areas such as Allegan County?

Support startup development, compel larger producers to provide service to rural areas to maintain their licenses in urban areas.

 

8. What qualifies you to represent the 80th District?

My diverse experience in agriculture, education and ecology give me the broad knowledge needed to address our real problems. My time on the Fennville school board and with the Allegan Conservation District gives me the experience needed to deliver solutions. I’m a can-do rural American!

 

 

Mary Whiteford

Republican

incumbent

Mary Whiteford is a former pediatric nurse who lives in Casco Township, owns a financial planning firm with her husband Kevin, with whom she has three grown children. She was elected to the 80th District in March of 2016 and serves on the following budget subcommittees:

 Department of Environmental Quality, chair

 Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, vice chair

 Department of Health and Human Resources

 Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and Department of Insurance and Financial Services.

 

 She has lived in Allegan County for over 10 years, having grown up in northern Illinois. She earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree from Northern Illinois University.

 

Additional information provided by the candidate:

Whiteford worked in a pediatric neurosurgery unit before working in a pediatric emergency unit. In 1997, she started an accounting business with her husband, Kevin, and they now run their own financial planning firm with their two sons and nephew in South Haven.

She was an active volunteer in her children’s schools, ran homeowner associations, was appointed to city committees and was appointed to the Michigan Women’s Commission where she worked on raising human trafficking awareness.

Whiteford grew up in the Midwest, in the small town of Cary, Ill., and is the oldest of four children. She met her husband, Kevin, in college and they have three adult children and two grandchildren. Whiteford and her husband live in Casco Township.

 

1. Do you believe the state needs to commit more funds toward road improvement? If so, what method to do that would you support?

We have to committed more than $4 billion to roads this year, including an additional $1 billion of new investment. We need to continue this prioritization, without raising taxes.

 

2. Be it funding or policy, what is your major goal when addressing public education?

Empower families, teachers, school administrators and local school boards to make local decisions about how their school systems are operated while providing the best possible education.

 

3. What will you pursue to protect places like public schools from mass shootings?

We have appropriated $60 million for grants this budget year to schools to increase security and fund mental health services.

 

4. What is your primary goal when addressing the state budget?

My goal is to find ways to reduce waste, inefficiencies and redundancies so we can maximize the way we use our existing dollars.

 

5. What are your legislative priorities if re-elected?

I will bring conservative solutions to protect your tax dollar, empower job creators, protect our veterans and seniors and uphold Michigan’s quality education systems.

I will continue my work to increase broadband access to our unserved areas.

I will continue my work to improve early intervention for individuals having a mental health crisis including those with substance abuse. We have the opportunity to connect people with help before they hurt themselves or others.

 

6. What is your stance on abortion?

I am 100-percent pro-life.

 

7. List any organizations that have endorsed your campaign.

National Rifle Association

Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce

Michigan Farm Bureau

Right to Life of Michigan

Small Business Association of Michigan

Great Lakes Education Project

County Road Association of Michigan

Michigan Restaurant Association

West Michigan Lakeshore Association of Realtors

Michigan Restaurant Association

Police Officers Association of Michigan

Michigan Manufacturers Association

Michigan Retailers Association

 

8. What strategies do you plan to pursue to reduce the price of Michigan’s auto insurance rates?

We have had 30-plus years of our current system that had the intent to decrease premiums and decrease court cases. This “no-fault” system has truly not had the intended results as court cases have increased dramatically and premiums are the highest in the nation.

A multi-pronged plan is necessary:

Decrease fraud and abuse by having a fraud authority.

Give individuals options for coverage, just like we do for health insurance.

Medical costs for injured people are currently charged at “reasonable and customary” rates. These can be far greater than what insurance companies reimburse at.

 

9. Do you have any goals to help make health insurance more available and/or affordable?

I have two pharmacy bills attempting to address the rising costs of medications. I have two bills to help individuals in a mental health crisis to get early access to help.

 

10. What can be done to bring high-speed internet service to more rural areas such as Allegan County?

I have spent my entire two-and-a-half years as state Representative looking for solutions to our lack of broadband access in our Allegan County townships. I am currently working with my colleagues and the governor to establish a system of grants that can be applied for to help pay for broadband expansion.

 

11. What qualifies you to represent the 80th District?

As your state representative, I am committed to serving the people of Allegan County. We need a conservative voice that represents our district, and it’s my priority to make sure your voice is heard in Lansing.

By meeting with residents, business owners and local officials throughout the district, I’m afforded the opportunity to fight for the needs of our area.

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Kaechele Publications, Inc.
241 Hubbard St.
P.O. Box 189
Allegan, MI 49010
Phone: 269-673-5534
Fax: 269-673-5535

Meet the staff

The Union Enterprise
P.O. Box 483
Plainwell, MI 49080
269-673-5534

The Commercial Record
3217 Blue Star Hwy.
P.O. Box 246
Saugatuck, MI 49453
269-857-8187 or 269-857-4637

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