Seven run for 97th District State Rep

July 29, 2016

candidates

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

Five Republicans and two Democrats are on the August 2 ballot seeking a chance to fill Representative Joel Johnson’s seat in Michigan’s 97th District Legislature next year.

Johnson is term limited and cannot run for the seat again.
Republican candidates include George Gilmore of Clare, Brian Johnson of Clare, Jacob Link of Standish, Jason Wentworth of Clare, and Thomas Winarski of Gladwin.

Democrats seeking the November ballot are Robert C. Corbett of Gladwin and Robert Townsend of Clare.
Gilmore, a resident of the district for 38 years and who taught Vocational Education at Clare for 33 years, has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Agri-Science Education from Michigan State University. He said his priorities are to improve the business climate and promote job growth; improve Career and Technical Education; and work to improve Michigan’s Infrastructure.

He is affiliated with the NRA, Clare Co. Right to Life, the Clare County Farm Bureau, Gideons International, Clare Church of the Nazarene, and with Clare, Gladwin, Osceola and Arenac County Republicans.

Johnson, a resident of Clare for 30 years, is an Industrial Painter. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Northwood University.
He said his priorities if elected are to eliminate the Michigan Personal Income Tax, Repeal wage laws, and expand electricity choices for a competitive market.
Link, who has lived in Standish for 28 years, is a Child Protective Services worker, Co-Owner of Link Electrical Contracting, a certified firefighter and a licensed foster parent.

Sample BallotHe has a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Saginaw Valley State University.

He said his goals are business development and job development. He is Pro-Live and a conservative.
Wentworth is a lifelong resident of Clare and Farwell, and a Farwell graduate. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety from ST. Petersburg College in Florida and a Master’s Degree in Leadership from Central Michigan University.

He is the East Central Michigan Regional Coordinator for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and a former Military Police officer and formerly in law enforcement.

His goals if elected are a balanced budget, creating job opportunity, less government regulations, increasing career and technical education, and increasing Veterans’ support and assistance.

Winarski, presently the Mayor of the City of Gladwin for his eighth term, a 20 year member of the City Council before he was mayor  and was a commercial lender for JP Morgan Chase for 36 years until his retirement in 2007. He has been a small business owner for 14 years and a resident of Gladwin for 44 years. He was raised in Clare County and is a Farwell High School graduate.

He has an Associate’s Degree in Science from Northwestern University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Management from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University.

Winarski’s goals if elected are job training and economic development. One of his concerns is the State budget.
On the Democratic side, Corbett lists his goals if elected as living wage jobs, overturning Lansing’s damage to Michigan schools and promoting personal freedoms.
He is an attorney with a law degree from Indiana State University School of Law and is a graduate of the University Of Michigan College Of Engineering. He worked for several years in the auto industry. For ten years he worked as a patent and trademarking attorney and now has a law practice with his wife as a business partner in Gladwin.

Dr. Townsend is the owner of Denali Healthcare of Michigan. He is a Michigan State University graduate and went to Medical School at Nova Southeastern in Florida.

Born in Buffalo, New York, he was raised in Kalamazoo.  He was in the U.S. Army as a ROTC officer and combat medic. He has lived in Clare since 2010.
His goals if elected are healthcare, criminal justice reform, the Michigan economy and education.

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