Ingham County staff writers
INGHAM COUNTY – With the deadline to file for candidacy in Ingham County on May 15, there have been only three candidates to put their names on the ballot. Jeff Oesterle, Andy Schor and Susan McGillicuddy are running for 67th, 68th and 69th Michigan State House, respectively. Each candidate possesses different qualities they believe will aid Michigan’s government.
Jeff Oesterle, Republican, said he understands the value of keeping families together. With the loss of jobs and the budget problems Michigan is experiencing, that is challenging.
“I made the decision to run two years ago for the state house because I wanted my grandchildren to be able to stay and work in Michigan and to
raise their families here,” said Oesterle.
Aside from the time he spent at Grand Valley State University receiving a bachelor’s degree in education, he has been a Mason-area resident his entire life. Having many members of his family close by and being involved in education influenced him to start a life of supporting others.
During this time in Mason, community members asked him to run for Vevay Township trustee. After winning, a few years later he ran for Vevay Township supervisor. His time on the township board as trustee and supervisor totaled more than 20 years. He is confident this experience will help him turn the Michigan economy around.
“I felt I had the experience and the ability to help turn the course the state was headed in,” said Oesterle. “Things are looking better, but there is still so much to do and some things to fix, which could have been done a little differently.”
By differently, he means a more genuine and personal approach, which has surrounded his campaign.
“As the weather gets better, I will start walking and knocking on doors in the district,” said Oesterle. “These one-on-one contact opportunities are the most important because it gives people the opportunity to ask me questions and it gives me the opportunity to find out what is most important to them.”
With his primary goal of keeping families together and jobs in Michigan, Oesterle knows the ideal way to do that is through improving the economy.
“I don’t want to have my family split like many have been in recent years because there are no opportunities to make a good living and raise a family in Michigan,” said Oesterle.
Democrat Andy Schor has always been interested in public service. Starting from a young age, he assisted the community in many service organizations.
“My parents insisted that we give back to the community where we lived and help others,” said Schor. “I have always had a strong sense of
wanting to help others and my community and to make the best decisions to move my community forward.”
Schor worked for a state senator for five years and a state representative for two years. These positions motivated him to run for Ingham County commissioner, a position he has held for the past 10 years.
“I have made the tough decisions on the County Commission for the last 10 years, and look forward to the opportunity to serve my community as a leader in the State House of Representatives,” said Schor.
An internship at the U.S. Department of Education led Schor to get more involved in politics. He was offered the opportunity to work on the Clinton/Gore Re-Election campaign.
Schor’s main goals if elected would be to use his experience as county commissioner and as a legislative staffer to obtain immediate change.
“My issues are education, good-paying jobs for working families and revitalizing Lansing,” said Schor.
He also credits his relationships he has built with others.
“I am supported by more than half of the sitting Democrats in the House of Representatives,” said Schor. “As a Democrat, this means that I will have significant influence on behalf of Lansing and Lansing Township when I am elected.”
Schor says that building lasting relationships by being involved in the community and learning from others is all a part of being successful.
“I also have relationships with the various associations and people that are necessary to get things done in Lansing,” said Schor. “I will not need a learning curve – I will be able to act on these and other issues immediately.”
Susan McGillicuddy, Republican, has spent 16 years in elective office for Meridian Township. She has been a trustee for 4 years and a township supervisor for 12 years.
“I bring 16 years of experience at bringing efficiencies to local government and working regionally,” said McGillicuddy. “I have worked regionally with other communities to save money.”
McGillicuddy has been a Lansing-area resident for more than 35 years and she is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s of science degree from the Department of Agriculture.
“I believe in protecting the environment and no one has done it better than I have in the region,” said McGillicuddy. “I intend to carry forth with the same philosophy I’ve done for the township into the state government.”
She plans to improve the environment in any way possible.
“I believe in mass transportation, good highways and complete streets that people can walk on and bicycle on,” said McGillicuddy. “This is so we can all get around easier and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and make us more energy efficient.”
McGillicuddy thinks she is the best fit for the position as state representative.
“I say what I mean and I’ve shown I have a track record for getting things finished,” said McGillicuddy. “I have a proven track record and the others don’t.”