By Connor Muldowney
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer
LANSING — Rep. Mark Meadows has been involved with politics ever since he can remember. Being the Democratic Michigan state representative for the 69th District has been a stepping stone to the Michigan Senate race in 2014.
“My plan is to run for the Senate in 2014, which really means I’ll be starting to run for the Senate in 2013,” Meadows said.
Meadows was mayor of East Lansing from 1997 until 2005, so he understands the importance of connecting with the community. Meadows does not take campaigning lightly and says that hard work will get him to where he wants to be politically.
“I plan to cover every inch of the Senate district, which is basically Ingham County,” Meadows said. “And for those areas that I’m not as well known, which would be outside of the 69th District, I plan to introduce myself and talk about the things that I have done and what I hope to accomplish as their senator.”
Although Meadows is serving his third and final term as state representative, he believes that there is more work to be done and hopes that the person who takes his place accomplishes that work. He said that there is a lot he would like to accomplish if a fourth term was allowed.
“My expectations would be that the person who took my place would fight to end the pension tax and improve the position of middle-class Michiganders,” Meadows said. “I would expect them to fight for the things that I think citizens of the 69th District believe in, and one of the things that they believe in most strongly is adequately funding public education.”
Meadows would like to see more funding in K-12 education, community college education and university education so that the students will come out of school having high-paying jobs in the future.
Susan McGillicuddy, Republican candidate for the position of 69th District representative, says she is prepared to fill the position in the fall.
Although she is the only registered candidate so far, she says she will be more qualified than the other candidates. She has spent 16 years in elective office for Meridian Township, four as a trustee and 12 years as township supervisor.
“I bring 16 years of experience at bringing efficiencies to local government and working regionally with other communities to save money,” McGillicuddy said. “I just have a proven track record and the others don’t.”
Although they are in opposing political parties, McGillicuddy and Meadows say that the government should work for the people, and not the other way around.
“If you have a problem as a resident, the state should respond,” McGillicuddy said. “It should be a customer service organization, trying to help people get things done.”
McGillicuddy plans to start campaigning as soon as she finds out who her opponents are. The filing deadline is May 15.
Cecelia Smith, legislative aide to Meadows, said his hard work should not go unnoticed.
“He’s really his own man,” Smith said. “We’re his support staff, but compared to most offices he really does almost everything on his own. He writes his own press releases. He has the legal mind to draft bills and do those kind of changes on his own without the help of others. He’s a really smart guy and he knows a lot.”
Meadows has been a popular political figure in the area since serving three terms as East Lansing mayor and he attributes his hard-working attitude that got him elected to his family.
“I think I got my work ethic from my parents who believed in the value of work,” Meadows said. “Hard work is not something I really mind. It’s something that’s in my blood.”