By Emily Hummel
The Mason Times
A long-standing family legacy of reaching for positions in government is continued through Curtis Hertel Jr., a candidate for the Michigan Senate.
With a father who was speaker of the House from 1993 to 1994, an uncle who served six terms as a member of Congress and another who served three terms as a Michigan senator himself, Hertel had an interest in politics at a young age.
“I still remember going door to door with my dad and my little red wagon,” Hertel recalled of campaigning with his father.
Since 2009, Hertel has been working in Mason, Michigan, as Ingham County’s Register of Deeds, which will require a new person elected into the position. He was involved in the foreclosure crisis that occurred in Mason in past years and worked hard to make sure residents could keep their homes. Hertel was also an advocate for workers during the right to work vote.
State Rep. Tom Cochran, who is running for re-election for his Ingham County district, has known Hertel for more than 15 years and says he is a hard worker who is focused on the people.
“I think Curtis has been a real advocate for the working men and women in, certainly, Ingham County and also for the state of Michigan,” Cochran said.
Hertel’s desire to seek the senate was sparked by his involvement in the right to work vote in December of 2012. During the Legislature’s deliberations Hertel was among the protestors outside the building. Not only was the building on lockdown to the people, but also there were no discussions of the bill with the public.
“I was really offended. Having spent a lot of time growing up around legislature, I had never seen that building shut down to the people. Instead of being concerned about the people, they were concerned about their own special interests and that’s why I decided to run,” Hertel said.
If elected, Hertel hopes to focus his policies on repairing Michigan roads and on education. He says the state needs to focus more on the future.
Rita Vogel, a Mason business owner who knows Hertel, says he has had a “textbook campaign” but is excited to see what he will be able to do if elected.
“I believe the values or beliefs Curtis stands for are integrity across the board. I find him to be thoughtful, objective and community driven,” Vogel said.
With a landslide win of more than 8,500 votes in the primary, Hertel only has to wait until the general election on Nov. 4 to see if he will become the next senator representing District 23.