This is a non-partisan report giving unbiased information regarding the candidates running for Michigan’s 20th Senate District consisting mostly of Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties. If living within the townships of Alamo, Cooper, Richland, Ross, Oshtemo, Kalamazoo, Comstock, Charleston, Paw Paw, Antwerp, Texas, Portage, Pavilion, Climax, Prairie Ronde, Schoolcraft, Brady, and Wakeshma, the information presented will boost political literacy regarding this district and the upcoming election November 4th, 2014. There are currently 269,554 residents in the 20th District and there are three candidates running to represent them. Sean McCann, a 43 year old Democrat and current State Representative for 60th House District (Kalamazoo), is a family man and has lived in Kalamazoo since his arrival to Western Michigan University 24 years ago. Margaret O’Brien is a member of the Republican Party, an alum from Michigan State University and is the present Associate Speaker Pro Tempore and 61st District State Representative. Last but not least is our Libertarian candidate Lorence Wenke, a business owner, former Republican and public servant.
Sean McCann is the democrat candidate running for the State Senate seat. He has lived in Kalamazoo for 24 years beginning his life there as a student at Western Michigan University. He’s a family man with a wife, two children, and a dog. He has a background in leadership and community service having served as President of the Western Student Association, Executive Director of the Vine Neighborhood Association, Director of Financial Development for the Greater Kalamazoo Area American Red Cross, City Commissioner of Kalamazoo, and State Representative for Michigan’s 60th District. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and has positioned his interests on issues such as public transportation, non-partisan redistricting, education, seniors, environment, and electoral reform.
Margaret O’Brien is a 40 year old woman who grew up in Kalamazoo County working on farms and moralizes the ideal principles of working hard and responsibility to the community. As a student at Michigan State University, O’Brien studied International Relations at James Madison and now represents Portage, Oshtemo, Prairie Ronde, Texas, and Schoolcraft townships. Margaret serves on several committees including Insurance, Oversight, Tax Policy, and Transportation and Infrastructure. Her policy interest are most aligned with fiscal conservatism. By cutting certain regulatory services by the government, O’Brien’s idea of government promotes economic growth by giving tax breaks and subsidies thus allowing private sector growth. She is endorsed by Women’s Right to Life and has a background in social work within the catholic outreach.
Lorence Wenke is the owner of Wenke Greenhouses and Nurseries respectively. He was a Kalamazoo City Commissioner and state Representative as a member of the Republican Party. He is now running as a Libertarian for social justice and economic freedom. Leaving the Republican Party was a hard decision for Lorence but believes his personal ideologies do not align with the Republican Party’s stance on LGBT rights, and fiscal irresponsibility by local government in the form of pensions and benefits.
All three candidates represent a number of constituent personal interests but contrast in very important ways. Sean McCann offers a background in community service and small urban politics that captures the themes on responsible government, protected environment, better education, and a stronger middle class. Margaret O’Brien brings to the table small business climate, tax reduction, and a more morally driven government. Wenke opposes the Republican social ideals and brings forth a more socially connected candidate who still distinguishes a conservative side on fiscal responsibility and smaller government.
http://ballotpedia.org/Margaret_O%27Brien http://www.seanamccann.com/about http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/76066/sean-mccann#.VDV9ZdfD-M8 http://www.votewenke.com/opinions/175