MARQUETTE — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer spent a blustery Halloween morning making his way across Delta and Marquette Counties to meet with potential constituents.

Both Schauer and State Senate candidate Christopher Germain made an early morning stop at Jeffrey’s Restaurant in Marquette. We spoke with them about some of the issues facing the Upper Peninsula, including the meth problem and what they plan to do to help eliminate it.

“We need to shore up funding to our public safety, fire departments, and our police departments,” said Germain. “That’s been a big issue: they’ve been cut over the past four years and it’s not only a meth problem here in the Central part of the Upper Peninsula, but if you go to the Menominee area, they’re having a big heroin problem, so we have a big drug problem all the way across the board. We need to get more funding in there.”

“The other thing is, we need to provide the courts some tools,” Schauer added. “I’ve been involved in drug treatment courts that provide treatment for addiction of meth and heroin, and you know, other substance abuse addictions. That helps kind of cut the cycle and stops the revolving door in and out of not just our court rooms, but in our jails and prisons.”

We also asked the candidates about their views on unions. Both candidates oppose the Right to Work policy in Michigan, Schauer even going so far as referring to it as “Right to Work for Less.”

“They provide the best workers, whether it’s rebuilding our roads or working in our correctional facilities,” Schauer said. “I was at NewPage in Escanaba this morning meeting with a group of steelworkers. These are important jobs that pay good wages. The problem with Rick Snyder’s policies, and ‘Right to Work for Less’ is it drives down wages for all workers, not just union workers.”

“The unions are there for not only the workers’ safety but also the consumers’ safety,” added Germain. “It’s a proud heritage and something that a lot of people don’t understand. A lot of people focus and think it’s just about wages, and it’s not just about wages. It’s really about that safety and making sure that you provide a quality product to the consumers and making sure that the workers are safe as well.”

Germain will be going up against Republican Tom Casperson for the 38th district Senate seat on Tuesday, while Schauer will be facing Republican incumbent Governor Rick Snyder.