Gretchen Driskell makes campaign stop in Tecumseh in race for Congress


Gretchen Driskell, third from left, speaks with constituents at The Daily Grind during a coffee hour forum on Friday, Dec. 4. Photo by Jim Lincoln.

Gretchen Driskell, State Representative in the 52nd District of Michigan, made a stop at The Daily Grind for a coffee hour on Friday, Dec. 4. A Democratic candidate, Driskell is running for Congress in 2016 against incumbent Tim Walberg to represent Michigan’s 7th Congressional District. She currently sits on the Agriculture, Elections and Communications and Technology Committees in the Michigan House of Representatives. During the coffee hour, Lenawee County residents had the chance to ask Driskell questions and express the issues concerning the community one-on-one.

Driskell was on the Saline city council for six years and was the mayor of Saline for 14 years before successfully running for State Representative in 2012. Her campaign for Congress focuses primarily on education, the economy, and the environment. She said she has a particular interest in agriculture in Lenawee County, and wants to understand the issues behind nutrient run-off from big farms into the county’s watershed.

“It’s not us and them,” Driskell said. “We need to identify the issues surrounding nutrient run-off and work with [big farms] to solve the problem, and improve the communication and the relationship between us.”

Driskell said Michigan’s water quality is a big priority to her, as she is focused on protecting Michigan’s natural resources. She added that Michigan also needs to put a higher priority on early and higher education. “The state is not investing enough in children,” Driskell said. 

Currently, Driskell is using the year before the election to learn what is important to voters, so she can become educated on what is happening on the ground in Michigan communities. “I don’t have the solutions right now, because I’m learning about the problems affecting the state,” Driskell said. “I’m trying to learn what issues are most relevant.”

Driskell noted that improving Michigan’s economy is a top priority to her campaign. “People are not making enough money to support their families, and they’re working multiple jobs or using their pension to get by,” Driskell said. “And that’s a problem.”

Driskell said that her plan to bring jobs into Michigan is to offer retraining opportunities for workers so they can have the qualifications to find work. “At the end of each day, businesses need workers with talent,” Driskell said. “I started a bi-partisan caucus about what businesses are looking for. We want to create a system investing in education, community and the environment.”

Driskell believes that if places in Michigan are created where people want to live, communities will flourish. She said that she does not support business tax cuts, or privatization, as she does not see it as an effective solution to the problem. “I would not support business tax cuts,” Driskell said. “[It’s] prioritizing business over people.”

At the end of the coffee hour, Driskell said she is looking forward to understanding the issues that affect Lenawee County. “I’m trying to listen, because my job as a representative is to listen to the people I represent,” Driskell said. “I’m trying to learn from the people in Lenawee.”


Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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