The 32nd Senate District Race is unique amongst Michigan because it is one of the few that currently has the trifecta partisan composition. This means that there is currently a Republican Governor, A Republican Senator Representative and a Republican House Representative for this district. With the retirement of Republican, Roger Khan the current Senator for this district the Democratic party is trying to gain influence for their party by winning this seat. In order for Democratic party to gain overall control of the Senate they would need to focus their efforts to win in districts like these. This would give both parties a more equal playing field as the incumbent advantage is now removed.
Bio. Republican Senator, Ken Horn:
Ken Horn has lived within the 32nd district for more than 30 years.
Residing in Frankenmuth with his wife Veronica. Senator Horn has a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from Concordia University.
Senator Ken Horn has completed the Michigan State University’s Michigan Political Leadership Program, Leadership Saginaw County, and the Saginaw County Vision 2020 1000 Leaders Initiative. Senator Horn has also been a substitute teacher in Bridgeport and Frankenmuth. He was also a small business owner of Horn’s Restaurant in Frankenmuth for 14 years. He also has 14 years experience as Saginaw CouCommissioner. He currently holds the seat of Michigan House of Representatives since 2006.
Goals for Michigan:
Ken Horn wants to cut red tape for businesses in Michigan. He wants to eliminate overspending on unnecessary government spending. He believes in small government with modest tax rates. He wants public spending to go directly into the classrooms. Another goal is to provide new energy technologies for Michigan.
Bio. Democrat, Stacey Erwin Oakes:
Stacey Erwin Oakes grew up in Saginaw. She is currently residing within the district. Her father worked on the GM assembly line for fifty years.
She is a former teacher, corrections officer and Assistant Attorney General.
She obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University and earned her teaching certification while working as Corrections Officer at the Saginaw Correctional Facility. She then taught in Saginaw public schools. Oakes earned her law degree from Michigan State University Law School. After working as a policy analyst at the House of Representatives, she became a state Assistant Attorney General, prosecuting and defending cases statewide. She has also taught as an adjunct professor at Saginaw Valley State University. She recently served as a member of the House for the 95th district.
Goals for Michigan:
Expand low-interest loans for Main Street businesses to grow local jobs and cut unemployment. Cut Taxes for Michigan families and small businesses. Restore critical funding for local schools, community colleges and state universities. As well as, to keep class sizes small and tuition within reach for the middle class. She also wants to link skilled workforce training at community colleges to local businesses so students are prepared to compete for area jobs when they graduate.
Comparing the Candidates:
Both candidates seem to run on the platform of appealing to the overall middle class voters. This makes sense because the majority of the voters in Michigan are categorized as middle class. However, Oakes is going after the race minority voters as well as women voters. Whereas, Horn is focused on the upper middle class voters categorized as wealthy business owners. They both have been life-long residences in the district they are running in and seem to appeal to the improvement of the quality of life in Michigan. They both are claiming they want to cut taxes for the middle class. Education is on both candidates’ agendas as they were both employed as teachers at one point in their lives.
Stacey Erwin Oakes has several endorsements from many organizations, including; The United Auto Workers, AFSCME standing for equal pay for equal work, Teamsters Local 406, and the Police Officer Associations along with three personal endorsements. Where Senator Horn has 23 personal endorsements that are mainly from other representatives of the House and Senate within the Republican party. Two of which are offering quotes describing Horn as a friend and fine man. This is relative to what we learned in class about how Republicans try and reach their party voters by defining themselves through their positive, perceived characteristics. Where as, Democratic candidates are more about issues. This is apparent in Stacey Erwin Oakes’ campaign as she is trying to be persuasive in her attempt to keep values in Michigan through families and communities.
The majority of contributors to Ken Horn’s campaign have consisted of large business. Some of these businesses include; Dow Corning, CMS Energy, Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association, and AT&T. The majority of these businesses contributing to his campaign are the entirety of employers in this district. In contrast with Stacey Erwin Oakes financial support coming from Unions and Local Agencies.
Overall, both campaigns seem to be going strong. It does seem that Ken Horn may have the advantage financially but the public support for a better economy is leaning in favor of Democratic nominee Stacey Erwin Oakes. Time can only tell.
N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. <.">http://ballotpedia.org/Kenneth_Horn#Campaign_donors>.
N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. <.">http://095.housedems.com/>.