Two candidates will vie for the state House of Representatives 4th District in the Nov. 8 general election.
Incumbent Democrat Karen Whitsett takes on challenger, Republican Tonya Wells, for a two-year term in the recently re-configured District 4. Whitest currently represents the 9th District.
The 4th District consists of northeast Dearborn and part of Detroit.
Each candidate was asked three questions with a 75- to 100-word limit for each response. Responses over the word limit were edited. Wells did not respond to the questionnaire by publication time.
1. List your education, and experience or skills you possess that make you a qualified candidate.
I’m a proud graduate of Cody High School, with certifications in Medicare, Medicaid, and union organizing. Before running for office, I was a community advocate and block club president. I also owned and operated a small business for 10 years and have experience in campaign work too. Since taking office in 2019, I’ve focused on addressing ongoing environmental concerns, protecting vital senior citizen services, and assisting entrepreneurs with securing resources to flourish in the community.
2. If (re)elected, what are three issues facing your constituents would you work to address and how?
If re-elected, my priorities will include supporting Michigan’s workers and bringing good paying jobs to my district, protecting Michiganders’ right to vote and blocking any legislation that seeks to suppress voter turnout especially in areas like mine, and supporting my community through fighting for environmental justice, focusing especially on the clean-up and removal of criminal auto lots that plague low-income neighborhoods like mine, as well as the demolition and redevelopment of the crumbling AMC Building in my district.
3. Why are you seeking (re)election? Why should people vote for you?
I’m seeking re-election to give District 4 a strong voice in Lansing. As a Detroit native and the current state representative for my community, I know firsthand the issues that are important to my constituents. Every vote I take and everything I do is for them, and I act on their needs and wishes. What sets me apart is my ability to work across the aisle and within my party to get things done. My motto is “people over politics” – I believe leaders should work together to enact policy that benefits all, and I’ll continue to stand on this principle.