We recently asked candidate Tom Stobie three questions related to the job he seeks: representing the 101 District in the state House of Representatives.
(1) You have been a worker in public education, most recently as superintendent of the Frankfort school system. How do you think your work experience will contribute to your performance as a state legislator?
Being an administrator, especially a superintendent, is wonderful training for running for public office. Both positions have to raise money, both have to speak to groups and answer tough questions, and both positions have to listen to their constituents and try to help where they can. You also have to become an expert in many areas to be able to understand the complexities of legislation being proposed. Both superintendent and state representative also are used to being pressured from many sides and being able to handle that pressure. I look forward to that challenge.
(2) When elected, you’ll represent Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee, and Mason counties. What needs do you see that people throughout this district have in common, in terms of state government?
All of us live in the most beautiful place on earth. We must protect our environment and maintain our water and air quality. Many of the 101st constituents have experienced loss of income and buying power especially our senior citizens. Our current representative voted to raise taxes on our seniors, voted against Pure Michigan and voted to eliminate important environmental regulations that protected our beautiful area. When I am elected to the state house, I will have your back!
(3) What legislation of the current Republican government has done the most harm to the district and what do you want to focus on during your first term?
Raising taxes on senior citizens’ pensions, eliminating the earned income tax credit and passing the Right to Work legislation were the most harmful. Of course, the loss of revenue to our public schools over the past three years and the push for more Charter and cyber schools is also adding to the deterioration of our public school system.
When I am elected I will fight to protect school aid funding and resources so our school district don’t continue to cut teachers and programs, eliminate taxes on senior pensions, and fight for better programs for the 700,000 veterans in our state.