Four gubernatorial candidates visit the Copper Country

HOUGHTON/ONTONAGON COUNTIES — Candidates for the Michigan Governor’s seat continued to make their way across the Upper Peninsula over the weekend.

Houghton County received a visit from two candidates on Friday—one from State Senator Patrick Colbeck, who attended a luncheon in Hancock with Keweenaw residents.

Colbeck said, “This is part of a job interview to be Michigan’s next governor. We want to make sure we’re talking to everybody across the state. We’re talking about some of the issues that matter to the folks here in the Houghton-Hancock area.”

Independent candidate Todd Schleiger initiated Friday’s hockey game at Michigan Tech by dropping the puck at the start of the game.

Schlieger said, “I’m a firm believer that the two party system is broken and they’ve lost touch with the people.”

Schleiger is new to the political arena, but believes that he can make a difference for the people of Michigan by bringing a working man’s perspective to the capitol.

“There were bills of $900 for one month of electric up here? That’s ridiculous. That’s worse than the high auto insurance that we have here in Michigan. This is all stuff that has to be changed and straightened out,” he said.

The campaigning continued on Saturday at a town hall meeting in Ontonagon when Colbeck was joined by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and Dr. Jim Hines, who are both also running for the office of Governor.

“I think this is an essential part of the process. This is where candidates go to different parts of the state and talk directly to citizens, directly to voters about what’s important to them, to answer questions and to have themselves be measured up next to other candidates. This is democracy in action,” said Calley, who also stated that both of his Republican opponents would make a great governor for the people of Michigan.

The meeting was hosted by the Republican Party, and gave the candidates a chance to answer questions from citizens of the U.P., in hopes of gaining the party’s support. Several citizens approached the podium to present the candidates with their questions. Many told heartfelt stories of frustration with our current state officials. Both Calley and Colbeck are term limited at their current offices.

Another candidate new to politics is Jim Hines, an obstetrician from Saginaw.

“We had maybe a hundred people with fantastic questions on the issues of dredging and electricity and sexual harassment and a non responsive and unresponsive government in Lansing,” said Hines.

A spokesperson for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette stated the he was unable to attend.

All political parties will announce their nominee in August.