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US Representative District 7

Choose one candidate to serve a two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Representatives receive an annual salary of $174,000.

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  • Candidate picture

    Gretchen Driskell
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Ken Proctor
    (L)

  • Tim L. Walberg
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

Do you support and will you appear at campaign events with your party’s presidential nominee?

How would you rate the State of Michigan's response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain.

How would you rate the federal government’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain.

Should Congress provide funding to help Flint, and other cities across the U.S., reduce and eventually eliminate lead service lines?

Do you support deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Do they help create jobs in the U.S.? Why or why not?

What do you think needs to be done to make the U.S. tax code fairer?

Do you think Obamacare should be augmented or replaced? How would you change it? What would you replace it with?

Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony? If so, please explain.

Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, please explain.

What specifically would you do to help colleges control the cost of tuition?

The U.S., and Michigan specifically, has long been a place of refuge for people displaced by wars and acts of terror. Should it remain so, especially with regard to refugees from Iraq, Syria and the Middle East?

Would you support a Constitutional amendment repealing Citizens United?

If an American auto company wants to open a plant in another country in order to reduce costs and increase its competitiveness worldwide, should it be able to do so? Should it have to pay additional taxes or fees for work performed overseas?

Where should the U.S. concentrate its job creation efforts?

Should the U.S. Senate confirm a Supreme Court Justice before a new president takes office? If not, why not?

What is the role of Congress when its majority sits in political opposition to the president?

Has the relationship between Congress and the president lost the respect it ought to have during the last two terms? If so, how would you restore it?

How effective has the Republican majority in the House been in exercising the House’s constitutional role in the federal government?

Do you believe income inequality is a problem in America? If so, what would you do about it?

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Racial inequality continues to be a serious problem in America.

If you agree, what would you do about it? If you disagree, explain why.

Do you support a moratorium on the deportation of undocumented immigrants whose children were born in the United States?

Do you favor the deportation of all undocumented immigrants?

Do you support legislation to reform the decennial redistricting process by placing it in the hands of in the hands of a non-partisan agency?

How would you reduce the number of firearm-related injuries and deaths in the U.S.?

As more boomers enter retirement, the nation faces critical shortages in eldercare services and rapidly rising levels of poverty among older Americans. What should Congress do about it?

City of residence Saline
Mailing Address PO Box 464
Saline, MI 48176
Age 58
Family Ryan (28), Matt (26), Marielle (22)
Education The George Washington University - School of Business MBA, Finance 1985 – 1987 Lynchburg College BS, Accounting 1976 – 1980 Michigan Real Estate License 2003 CPA, Washington DC 1985
Vehicles owned Ford Fusion Hybrid
Professional Experience Commercial Real Estate Agent Swisher Commercial January 2006 – Present Leasing Coordinator The Phoenix Company 2003-2005 Assistant Controller KPMG;DC office 1986 – 1988 Senior Accountant COMSAT 1983-1986 Contract Auditor Coopers & Lybrand 1982-1983 Junior Accountant Planning Research Corporation (PRC) 1980-1982
Political Experience State Representative-52nd District Michigan House of Representatives January 2013 – Present Mayor City of Saline, Michigan January 1999 – December 2012 City Council Member City of Saline, Michigan January 1993 – December 1998
Race/ethnicity White
Campaign Website http://votegretchen.com
Incumbent? false
I will be supporting my party’s presidential nominee in November. I do not currently have any events planned with my party’s presidential nominee.
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I hear every day from constituents who are rightfully outraged over the crisis and Governor Snyder's lackluster response to it. As a legislator, I have advocated for our right to clean, safe drinking water. When a family in my district found that their drinking water well was poisoned by dioxane, an industrial solvent, I made sure they got connected to safe municipal water. I believe it is my duty, and the duty of government, to protect the public. More than ever, in this state surrounded by fresh water, we need leaders with a strong record of working for safe drinking water. As a member of Congress, the health and well-being of our communities will be a top priority, not an afterthought.
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Congress has failed to act swiftly to help Flint’s families get through this difficult time. Throughout this crisis, Rep. Walberg has consistently failed to provide the accountability and transparency our neighbors deserve, even saying that a key lesson from the Flint water crisis is that "government can't protect us against everything” (Michigan’s Big Show, 3/1/16). That tells poisoned Flint families that it’s up to them to watch out for themselves. I find that shocking. At a minimum, government should protect children from being poisoned by their own drinking water. I’m disappointed in Rep. Walberg's willingness to put partisanship ahead of Michigan families and government transparency.
Hardworking families have had their right to clean, safe drinking water threatened and Congress must act swiftly to fix this grave problem. For starters, we should strengthen support for federal programs that could remove lead pipes. More than ever, we need leaders who have a strong record of working for safe drinking water.
I strongly disagree with the President’s decision to make the Trans-Pacific Partnership one of his priorities in his last year in office. The TPP would spell disaster for working families and American businesses. Unfortunately, too many politicians have put their donors ahead of Michigan workers.

Michigan has suffered too long from the outsourcing of jobs that followed NAFTA. Any future trade deal should create jobs in Michigan and give a voice to working families. When elected, I’ll work to keep Michigan jobs in Michigan by opposing the TPP, which would ship thousands of Michigan jobs overseas, and by fixing bad deals like NAFTA that have forced our kids to leave Michigan to find work.
Our tax code right now is tilted in favor of those at the top and against the hardworking families that drive our economy in the first place. That’s why it’s so important that corporations and the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share for the benefits they receive from American taxpayers. Doing that will put us on a path to building a country that gives everyone a shot at entering the middle class while reducing the federal deficit at the same time.
I believe our current laws are imperfect and need some reforming. In Congress, I’ll work with anyone to improve our health care system and make it work for more families and small businesses. I’ll also work to protect and strengthen vital lifelines like Medicare and Social Security. Our seniors deserve representatives who will stand by them and support the type of commonsense policies that help them live with greater independence and dignity in their communities.
No.
No.
Whether a four-year college, community college, or vocational-technical program, higher education is the single most important investment Americans make in their futures. However, many of today’s students leave school with a mountain of debt, putting higher education out of reach for too many working families.

While our elected leaders have voted to slash vital education funding, I’ve got a long record of fighting for ideas that will make higher education more affordable while preparing our kids to enter the new economy and stay right here in Michigan. When elected to Congress, I’ll continue to work hard to ensure that every American has access to high-quality, affordable higher education.
Our immigration system must make our country stronger and align with America’s core values. Importantly, we must ensure a strict, thorough screening process. While we must put the safety of Americans first, turning our backs on refugees fleeing violence defies American values. America doesn't take a backseat in global crises. That’s why I support reasonable and responsible measures to ensure the safety of the American people, while also giving aid to those desperately "yearning to breathe free."
Yes. In Washington right now, too many of our elected leaders are bought and paid for by the time they get into office and spend their time catering to big-moneyed special interest groups instead of representing their constituents. While jobs and opportunity left Michigan over the last decade, the powerful special interests that benefit from this have been thriving. The people of the 7th District and across America want to elect someone who truly represents them, not someone who’s bought and paid for by big corporations that ship our jobs overseas. When I’m in Congress, I’ll work tirelessly to make sure that everyone in Michigan has a chance to succeed, not just those with money and power.
The American auto industry is the backbone of Michigan’s economy and we must do all that we can legally do to protect it. We’ve seen a series of bad trade deals that have cost our state thousands of jobs, and there’s another one on the way. If we make it easier for companies to take advantage of bad deals, they’ll do it. That’s why I oppose the TPP. Through promoting sound economic policy and opposing trade deals that ship our jobs overseas, we will build on our strong history of auto manufacturing here in Michigan. We must create an environment where American auto companies are able to keep their jobs in America and here in Michigan.
I believe we can rebuild Michigan’s economy, stop our job loss, and keep our kids in Michigan by strengthening our manufacturing sector. At the same time, there are opportunities in the tech sector, in new energy jobs, and in public-private partnerships. But we can’t expect to continue to grow if we continue to gut education here in Michigan and foster trade policies that encourage jobs to leave for overseas. In Congress, I’ll bring new ideas to create jobs, including expanding access to high-speed internet. I'll oppose bad trade deals that are costing our state and push for the right budget priorities like funding education.
The Supreme Court is a pillar of our democracy and shouldn’t be used to score political points by either party. Judge Garland should get a fair hearing.
I was a nonpartisan mayor for 14 years and didn’t care if an idea was a Democratic or Republican one. What I cared about was whether or not it was a good idea. That’s why we were able to balance the budget every year while supporting good public schools. I’m excited to bring that same approach to Washington. The first priority of any elected leader should be to serve as a voice for the people who elected them. When I’m in Congress, I’ll do that no matter which side of the aisle the president comes from and I’ll encourage my colleagues to do the same.
It’s no secret that Washington has become a place where what party you belong to tells someone all they need to know about you. As I’ve talked to my neighbors across the 7th district I’ve been reminded that the vast majority of Americans don’t think that way.

The hardworking people of this district want a representative who will work across the aisle to get things done. As former Republican Governor Bill Milliken said in his endorsement of our campaign, I’ve got a long record of working constructively to achieve positive results. Now more than ever, we need people in Washington who will work to find common ground and common solutions to our problems.
Partisan bickering has prevented too many of our elected leaders from getting things done. Instead of supporting commonsense bipartisan bills that offer solutions to the problems facing our country, too many of our representatives are contributing to a culture of failed leadership. People in the 7th District want a representative with a clear record of working in a constructive way to solve the problems we face as a state and nation. I’m excited to bring that sort of commonsense leadership to Washington in order to fix our broken system. I know that, working together, we can build communities that help everyone succeed, not just those with power and access.
Income inequality is a symptom of our broken system. The big-moneyed special interest groups that buy our elections make the problem worse. I think it’s time for everyone in Michigan to have a chance to succeed, not just those with power and access.

By ensuring corporations and the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share for the services they receive from American taxpayers, we can start to build a fairer system and reduce the deficit at the same time. I’ll also work hard to stop American jobs from being outsourced and create jobs in tech and manufacturing that help keep our kids at home in Michigan.
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America’s story is one of constant progress toward, as Lincoln once put it, the better angels of our nature. Some of our greatest moral triumphs have come when we confronted hard truths about race and justice in America. Just like the generations before us, we have to face them and then change them.

Responsible leaders of both parties are working together to do just that by ending the era of mass incarceration, protecting immigrants’ rights and defend every American’s right to vote. When elected to Congress, I’ll work to break down the walls that still hold some Americans back so that we can build an economy that works for everyone.
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I support comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform. I believe we need to secure our borders, ensure tough background checks, and make sure no one comes to this country without permission. For undocumented folks who are already here, we need to make sure no one is jumping the line and make sure anyone who owes taxes or fines pays them. If we can do those things, I’ll supports a reasonable path to citizenship. In Congress, I’ll work with leaders from both parties to build a reasonable approach that allows immigrants to legally build lives here, allows families to stay together, and helps our economy grow.
Yes.
Any time a senseless act of violence is carried out against a community, my heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims. Our nation grieves with them as they mourn the loss of those they cherish most. We need to do more to prevent such tragedies in the future.

As we do that, we should remember that gun ownership is part of the fabric of many law-abiding families and communities. It’s important that we protect their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. When I’m elected to Congress, I’ll work with leaders from both parties on crafting commonsense solutions that keep our communities safe while also protecting our constitutional rights.
Over the years, programs like Social Security and Medicare have served hardworking Americans well.

Responsible leaders of both parties have worked to protect these vital lifelines and we need to make sure that the people of 7th District have a representative among them. Our seniors deserve representatives who will stand by them and support the type of commonsense policies that help them live with greater independence and dignity in their communities. I’m proud to stand with them and against the special interests who would phase out Social Security and Medicare as we know it. When elected to Congress, I’ll work tirelessly to protect and strengthen these vital lifelines for our seniors.
City of residence Charlotte
Age 65
Family One daughter, three granddaughters, one great granddaughter
Education Applied Science Degree from Lansing Community College, Magna Cum Laude, 1998
Vehicles owned 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 2010 Forrester
Professional Experience While working as a Machine Repairman I was trained and proficient in the use of Vibration Analysis and Industrial Laser systems, among other things. I've held a State license as a Residential Builder.
Political Experience In 2010 I was the Libertarian candidate for Governor of Michigan and placed third in a field of five candidates.
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Incumbent? false
I fully endorse and support Governor Gary Johnson as my presidential candidate and I concur with his statement: "When someone tells you you're wasting your vote, recognize they don't care about you. It's a selfish statement. They are saying your beliefs aren't worth being represented. That you should silence your voice so that theirs can be louder. Vote your conscience, not someone else's politics." I believe in Freedom and Liberty, which has been under attack from our government. I believe in non-interventionism rather than endless wars for power, control and corporate profit. I believe no bank or corporation is too big to fail and that none should ever be bailed out.
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I hold the elected officials of Flint as being equally as guilty as the State elected officials in the Flint water crisis. The State government squanders Michigan's resources and taxes with corporate welfare such as the M.E.D.C. or the 21st Century Jobs fund rather than making sure the basic needs of the people are being met. Lead in water is not just a Flint problem, but occurs in areas across the state. I know there are better solutions to the problems in Michigan than the self-serving Republicans or Democrats in State government are willing to put forward. Elected officials have two primary jobs; protect Individual Liberty, and be good stewards of the Taxpayer's money.
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I do rate their response Poor, but if you rate Federal non-response to the Flint water crisis as a comparison to their response to any other crisis not involving moneyed special interests, then it rates average. Both the Democrat and Republican leadership in our state and in our nation have abandoned the average American family in favor of the acquisition of more power and control for themselves at the expense of the loss of personal and economic freedom for individual Americans.
America is close to 20 Trillion dollars in debt, yet we send Billions of borrowed dollars to countries in Foreign Aid "gifts". That money could be used to help America instead. The U.S. government subsidizes multi-national corporations with taxpayer's money. That money could be used to help Americans instead. Sadly neither the Democrats nor the Republicans in Congress wish to change this status quo. The most basic service a government can provide to it's people is providing safe drinking water.
No, absolutely not! I'm a Libertarian, I love free trade, but the TTP is not free trade. Free trade in this country doesn't really exist except at yard sales and garage sales. The TTP is a secret document that even Congress is banned from sharing with the American people. Read that last statement again and realize phony the concept of American freedom is presently. It is said that 5% of TTP is about trade and the other 95% is about allowing multi- national corporations and banks to sink their hooks into the American taxpayer. Regardless of what Obama and Hillary might say, I view the TPP as being the bigger, much uglier brother of NAFTA.
Presently, the U.S. tax code is 72,000 pages long, and most, if not all of it was written by powerful special interests looking for breaks and exclusions. Libertarians would like to see the eventual elimination of all income taxes, which is actually quite doable. Until that day Libertarians will be the real and only fiscal conservatives at the political table. Here is an idea, why don't we start at the basics and audit the IRS. I'm in favor of a complete audit of the privately owned Federal Reserve also. I would like to see the income tax replaced. There are several methods being talked about, like the Fair Tax or a consumption tax. We need to cut government spending and burden on us.
Obamacare is a monster that is outgrowing it's cage. There were no incentives put in place to control or reduce costs, so eventually it will become too expensive for anyone to afford. Obamacare is the polar opposite of a free market approach. The best free market approaches to American Health-care would eliminate the mandate to force people to buy something they may not need, or want. Rather than allowing corporate monopolies on dugs like the EpiPen through regulations that favor certain companies, we should support competition in the marketplace. We should review licensing restrictions so that nurses, techs and specialists through out health care can do more and do it cheaper.
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No, but I was close once, years ago, and struggled to work my way out of debt. When it comes to debt, the U.S. government sets a poor example.
The rising cost of tuition is directly linked to the availability of government student loans which takes away a college's motivation to cut their non-student spending and be cost competitive. A big issue with me is Student Debt which is about 1.7 Trillion dollars nationally and is choking family budgets and our national economy. When you can buy a house or a car at less than 5% interest, charging 10% on government student loans is criminal. No student loans should have an interest rate over 5%. People should be allowed to reorganize their student loans under bankruptcy protection. Student loan repayment, including interest and penalties, should not exceed 200% of the original loan.
One of my biggest problems with regard to taking in Middle Eastern refugees was our government's seemingly complete focus on people of the Muslim faith as apposed to the Coptic Christian or any of the other badly oppressed minorities. The other problem is the fact that I recognize that the U.S. Foreign Policy of regime change, endless war, the acquisition of power and control of foreign countries and their resources is the root cause of the refugee crisis. Refugees should wish to assimilate.
Yes I would. I do not believe "corporations are people". Big corporations and special interests have robbed the American people of any real voice or power in the Federal Government which demonstrates itself in every aspect of American life through limited choices, higher costs, and less freedom.
The biggest reason that companies and jobs move away from this country is the high business taxes and regulation burden imposed by government at the State and Federal level. By reducing or eliminating corporate taxes and burdensome regulations, America could attract more jobs. Government is choosing between a dynamic and growing economy, or one that is laden with so much regulation and red tape it is choking to death. Libertarians want a growing economy, Democrats and Republicans want a controlled and stifled economy.
The best thing the government can do for job creation is to get out of the way. Government is the source of most of the barriers that impede business and job growth. A little more freedom in America's marketplace and we would get a little better economy. A lot more freedom in America's marketplace and our economy could reach new heights.
No. It is the U.S. Senate's job to review a Supreme Court nominee, not automatically confirm one. Political gamesmanship between the Democrats and Republicans in Washington will not change unless we have a Libertarian president. Who ever the eventual Supreme Court candidates are, my hope is that they will understand and defend Individual Freedom, U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
To represent the best interests of the people that elected them. As I mentioned before, I don't believe corporations are people, so a member of Congress should be representing the interests of the average person and family in their district. If they believe the political opposition has an idea with merit, it should be supported rather than continued political gamesmanship, If an idea from the opposition is seen as a threat to Individual Liberty or in some way in opposition to the best interests of the people who voted for them, then they should oppose it with all means.
I personally like the idea of placing presidential candidate,Governor Gary Johnson in the White House, then both Democrats and Republicans in Congress would be forced to work together and get things done. Both major parties in Congress have little respect for each other or the president, and I don't believe they or the president have much respect for the American people as a whole. We need someone in the office of president who places the American people above political party power and agendas.
Not very. As much as they complain, their actions seem to show them on the side of growing the government even larger, raising taxes even higher and undermining what little free market we still have at every turn. The Republicans are no better fiscal conservatives or good stewards of the taxpayer dollar than the Democrats. The only difference between the two is that sometimes they have different special interests they wish to award our money to.
I believe we should strive for equal opportunity in this country while recognizing that it will not nor should not guarantee equal results. Yes, I believe there is a built-in inequity. Our election system isn't the only thing that's rigged in favor of the politically powerful.
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Let's look at removing or reforming all government programs and regulations that contribute to this problem. Presently, it seems that our government and it's leaders are promoting racial unrest and inequality rather than racial harmony. Ending the failed war on drugs would go a log way toward solving racial inequality.
Yes. Many "undocumented" people have been in this country for decades and some for their entire lives. There once was a time when our borders, both to the north and to the south, were open and more or less free flowing. We should free up the voluntary flow of people into and out of this country while making a reasonable effort to keep out the "bad actors" that wish to do us harm.
No. It is too big a job. It would create a worse police state than we already have. It would severely harm, if not destroy our economy. America has bigger problems, starting with a Foreign Policy that is dragging us closer to a World War, and possibly a nuclear one.
I would love that. I think people of third parties, or even citizens with no political affiliation would do a better job than the "party in power", which ever it is at the time. Without the political thumb on the scale of redistricting, voters would gain power over political machines. If we had more districts with little or no political party advantage, we could actually throw some life long political hacks out of office. People would feel they had a real reason to vote for a change.
Let's promote better safe firearms training and education. Let's start retraining our police forces toward a more judicious and restrained use of deadly force as apposed to a first reaction response that is used far too often today. Seriously, people are more likely to be murdered by a hammer, doctor's mistake, or a car than a gun. Liberians believe in "self ownership". People are not State property. We are responsible for our own lives and the lives of our loved ones. The right of self defense is meaningless if people are not allow the means and tools to defend themselves. The police have no legal duty to defend or protect your life.
First, government should quit contributing to the problem with over regulation, licensing laws and general bureaucratic meddling in the health care field. Americans should be able to put savings in tax free Medical and late life savings accounts. It is an idea that has been talked about for decades, but neither the Democrats nor the Republicans wish to enact it because there is nothing in it for their special interest friends. Vote for Freedom, Peace and the Prosperity that would go with it. Vote Libertarian !
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