ESCANABA — Only in America can you go from a seat in a semi to a seat in Congress.

For 27 years, Tom Casperson worked in the logging business. The former state rep, now state senator, is aiming even higher, for Washington D.C.

“Having come from this industry people would probably think that would be one of the last places that drove a log truck would go is Lansing or to Washington,” said Casperson. “I think it fits. It’s the one area I’m most proud of is that I’m a working man and I know what it’s like.”

Casperson is the first republican to announce his intentions to run for Congress. Dan Benishek, who currently occupies the seat, is retiring at the end of next year. Casperson has already talked with Benishek about the challenges he would face in Washington D.C.

“He said it pretty much like how I would say it and that is just stay true to who you are and win the people over. That’s what we’re going to try and do,” said Casperson.

A crowd of about 100 people showed up for Casperson’s announcement, including State Rep. Ed McBroom, who has known Casperson for years.

“I think he’s going to do a great job in Congress and partner up with a lot of people in Congress who feels the same way he does,” said McBroom. “Hopefully they will take back some of the power of the people to make determinations, whether than letting them come to us with rules and regulations.”

“Way too often it seems like Washington D.C. is where common sense goes to die. And it really does; we see that,” said Casperson during his announcement speech.

Casperson spoke passionately about how Washington is broke, talking how the government intrudes on individuals property rights and the creation of good paying jobs by creating unnecessary rules and regulations. That’s where his focus would be in D.C.

“I think I’m going to stay with the natural resources theme because natural resources in northern Michigan is so important and so big. That’s where a lot of the rules and regulations are coming down,” he said.

The decision to run for office was not an easy one. Casperson was quick to thank his family, specifically his wife, Diane, for supporting him on another political journey.

“We look at this as an opportunity that’s come across his plate,” said Mrs. Casperson. “I think with his experience he’s up to the challenge.”

“My goal will be to go to Washington, win over colleagues and get them on my side of the issues that I believe in and work very hard to get Washington to listen to us,” added Sen. Casperson.