By Alexandra Donlin
MI First Election
Most college students typically don’t think about running for a political office, at least while they’re still in school.
However, Alec Findlay, despite being a senior at Michigan State University and only 23, has decided to run for state representative in the 67th District, which includes Mason, Williamston, Leslie and part of Lansing.
“Alec’s work-ethic, intelligence and social skills will serve him and the district well,” said Patrick McAran, friend and supporter of Findlay. “There is much disapproval of the incumbent candidate and it seems it is time for a change.”
Findlay, a Democrat, is running against Tom Cochran, also a Democrat, who is running for this third and final term, due to term limits.
Aside from being a full-time political science student, Findlay also works part-time – all while he is building up his campaign. He says it has been tough but worth it.
“The entire process has been very eye-opening and rewarding though,” Findlay said. “Campaigning during school really helps me to focus on my priorities.”
Findlay is trying to get a lot of young and first-time voters as well. He plans on joining campaign volunteers on primary day, Aug. 2, to offer rides for voters to their polling locations.
He has also proposed policy ideas that break away from the status quo of the Michigan Legislature.
“One of my policy ideas is potentially a first in the nation kind of program,” Findlay said. “My plan would create the Michigan Service Corps, which is a work-for-reward program. It would help bring employers together with unemployed Michiganders on an online database.
“Then, unemployed Michiganders would be able to select a number of different service plans and areas, and thus earn themselves a minimum wage or college credit/tuition assistance. The Michigan Service Corps is an innovative idea for a forward-thinking Michigan.”
Findlay says this policy idea and the others he has proposed will resonate not only with first-time voters, but long-time voters as well.
A long-time friend, Jake Lee, has even voiced his support for Findlay.
“I think it will be invigorating for young voters in the area to see someone similar to their age that is so passionate about being involved politically,” said Lee.
Findlay has received some backlash for his campaign. Some of it is due to the fact that he is running against a two-term incumbent from his own party.
However, most of his backlash has to do with the fact that he is only 23.
“My response to people who would think less of my campaign or me based solely on my age is that age isn’t the definitive marker of a leader,” said Findlay.
Findlay uses Stevens T. Mason, Michigan’s first governor, as an example. He was only 23 when he was elected and was monumental in bringing Michigan to statehood in 1837. He is still the youngest state governor in American history.
“Gov. Mason’s story shows us that all it takes for one to be a leader is to have a good work ethic, a strong will to serve, innovative ideas and receptiveness to the situations of others,” Findlay said.
That is just what he’s trying to do with his campaign, and Lee agrees.
“I believe that if elected, he will serve his constituents to the best of his ability and not allow personal issues or rash judgments to intrude in his decisions and actions,” Lee said. “I am proud of his support for progressive ideals and policies and his distaste for corruption and greed in politics.”
To learn more about Findlay’s stances and policy ideas, you can visit his website, http://www.findlaystaterep67.nationbuilder.com/, and his Facebook page, Alec Findlay (politician). https://www.facebook.com/alechamiltonfindlay/