Ingham County Chronicle staff writer
MASON – When Curtis Hertel Jr. became the Ingham County register of deeds four years ago, he set goals that he knew would take time to accomplish. Now that he decided to run for re-election in the August primary for Ingham County, his goals remain the same.“My goal is to continue doing what we’re doing,” he said. “I’m trying to actually save citizens going through foreclosure and continue to make my office more accessible to citizens.”
Hertel Jr. is known by his peers as a hard-worker and genuine politician.
“He is a man of integrity,” said Tom Flammer, Hertel Jr.’s former campaign manager. “He doesn’t talk out of both sides of his mouth. He’s absolutely interested in helping people and using his office to whatever extent he can to help people out.”
Flammer was Hertel Jr.’s campaign manager for only one election and said, “He doesn’t take any elections off, It’s a very good work ethic.”
Hertel Jr. is unopposed, but there is still time for someone to run against him.
“I haven’t had anybody file for register of deeds yet,” said Janie Lee, Ingham County election coordinator. “The filing deadline for the August primary is May 15 by 4 p.m.”
Hertel Jr. says that he gets his work ethic from his father and his uncle. His father, Curtis Hertel Sr., is the former Speaker of the House of Michigan and his uncle, Dennis Hertel, is a former U.S. Congressman from Michigan.
“I am where I am because of them,” said Hertel Jr. “I’ve always enjoyed politics. I’ve always enjoyed talking to people. I’ve always admired the work that my uncle and father did.”
Hertel Jr. explains that his father and uncle are his biggest supporters. “I was never pushed to do it, it just made sense,” Hertel Jr. said. “My dad is my biggest cheerleader and the number one place I go to for advice. My dad and my uncle are my biggest mentors.”
His father taught him a lot about politics, most importantly being personable with the public, although he admits he doesn’t do it alone.
“I like to go out and meet people,” Hertel Jr. said. “I was taught old-school retail policy of going door-to-door out on the streets and going to events. I feel like the work we’ve done for the people will be appreciated and will be re-elected. Between friends, family and supporters, it is a ‘we’ running our campaign.”
As for the possibility of running for higher office position in the future, Hertel Jr. is optimistic. “I like where I am now and the work that we’re doing,” said Hertel Jr. “I have a wide variety of interests of issues that I am concerned about, but for right now I am not done being the register of deeds.”
Hertel Jr.’s supporters may have higher aspirations for him than he has of himself. One such supporter that shows the most optimism is his father.
“My dad would say that I could be governor one day,” Hertel Jr. said. “I don’t think I’m pretty enough to be governor.”