By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Incumbent U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and Republican Jeff Jones will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot seeking the 12th District Representative seat in Congress.
The candidate who wins will serve a two-year term.
Jones is a pastor at God’s Family Room and financial adviser at Mass Mutual.
Each candidate was asked three questions with a 100-word limit for each.
Question 1: What skills, strengths, education or experience do you possess that make you a qualified candidate for the position you are running for?
Dingell: I believe in building coalitions to get things done. As one of 16 members of Congress to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multi-employer Pensions, I’m working to find real solutions to put failing pension plans back on solid ground and protect the retirement workers have earned because we have the largest number of workers in the Central States Pension System. Over the last four years, I’ve worked across the aisle in Washington to shut down the St. Clair pipeline and prevent nuclear waste storage near the Great Lakes, lower drug costs and fight the opioid epidemic.
Jones: I have spent 30-plus years ministering to broken communities as a pastor and 30-plus years have been spent in upper management positions were I have won several awards. These have given me an insight into not only the business world, but into the heartbeat of community. Outside of the box thinking is my specialty. The issues of today take dynamic problem solving skills which I pride myself on.
Question 2: What will be your priorities if you were (re)elected?
Dingell: In Congress, I will keep fighting to make sure every American has a fundamental right to quality, affordable health care. As co-chair of the Medicare for All Caucus, I’m working to streamline our fragmented healthcare system, so doctors can spend more time making patients healthier. I worked hard through committee and on the House floor to pass legislation to save patients money on prescription drugs. I’ll never stop speaking up for workers’ pensions, protections that keep our air and water clean, and a strong manufacturing base that invests in American workers and remains at the forefront of innovation and technology.
Jones: There are many issues great and small but I would like to stop omnibus bills as well as introduce green initiatives that foster economic growth. Strong educational reforms need to occur as well to produce stronger citizens and a better community.
Question 3: Why should people vote for you?
Dingell: The people I represent want to be able to make a decent living and provide for their family. They want to be able to buy a home and live in a safe neighborhood, educate their children, put food on the table, see a doctor when they need to, afford their medicine and have a safe and secure retirement. I’ll work hard every day with anyone willing to put aside partisan differences and find solutions. We need to bring civility back to our national discourse and remember what makes us American. I ask for your vote on Nov. 6.
Jones: People should vote for me because I am not a politician; I am a constitutionalist. I will follow the constitution, not the billionaires and lobbyists who think they are in control. Three hundred million Americans should not be in fear of 600 people sitting in Washington, and I won’t allow the citizens of the United States to be lied to any longer.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)