By John Kennett, Midland Daily News
The League of Women Voters of the Midland Area (LWV) recently hosted its annual candidate forum. Participating were two Republican primary candidates for the 98th State House: Annette Glenn and Carl Hamann.
Moderated by LWV President Katherine Redwine, the forum was held at MCTV studios in the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library.
The winner of the Aug. 7 primary election will face Democratic candidate Sarah Schulz during the Nov. 6 general election.
The 98th District encompasses the towns of Midland, Auburn and Pinconning. It also includes Homer, Jerome, Larkin, Lee, Lincoln and Midland townships in Midland County along with Beaver, Fraser, Garfield, Gibson, Mount Forest, Pinconning and Williams townships in Bay County.
Although the primary will be Glenn's first attempt at public office, she has a vast background in politics going all the way back to high school.
"In high school, I knocked on doors for a gubernatorial candidate," said Glenn, who holds a bachelor's degree in public administration.
Inspired by President Ronald Reagan, Glenn served as college Republican chair at Boise State University, state chair of College Republicans and was elected as vice-chair of the College Republican National Committee.
She served as state chair of Youth for Reagan in 1984 and was elected county Republican Party chair at age 23. She also served a state Senate internship while in college and attended the 1984 Republican National Convention that nominated Reagan for his second term.
"I found that I could really make a difference and could solve problems," Glenn said. "I loved the process and really enjoyed it."
Before raising her five children, Glenn worked on the staff in the U.S. House of Representatives and managed campaigns for Congress, lieutenant governor, state supreme court, and multiple state house and senate campaigns. She was also a paid staff member of former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole's presidential campaign.
Glenn would give more control to schools on the local level.
"I think our local schools have a great feel for what their students need and how to prepare them best," she said.
Training skilled workers would also be a priority for Glenn, who would like to see more apprenticeships or co-ops.
"We actually have 108,000 jobs in Michigan that we don't have the skilled people to fill them," she said.
Glenn believes that the best way to increase voter participation is to increase the interaction between voters and candidates, especially going door-to-door.
Unlike her primary opponent, Glenn has concerns over electronic voting.
"I don't think we have the technology to have ballot security," she said.
Tax incentives for businesses
Rather than tax incentives for businesses, Glenn would like to see the state do a better job of marketing.
"I know a lot of people that have transferred and they are looking for good housing, good schools and good environments," she said. "I'm not sure that Michigan has done a great job of selling itself. So often, people that are transferred to Midland are surprised at this wonderful gem that they would never have imagined existed in Michigan."
She would look at lowering the income tax rate for residents.
"We had a temporary increase that is still there. I would definitely support rolling that back," Glenn said. "I would support opening our energy policy so that we would have lower rates for both individuals and businesses. It is the single largest cost in manufacturing for Dow."
Two other priorities would be lowering insurance rates and improving reading skills by the third grade.
"Michigan has the highest insurance rates in the country and we have the lowest reading skills at grade 3. I think until we reverse those and we have lower insurance rates and our kids are learning to read, I don't know if we are going to be able to grow like we should," she said.
Availability for constituents
Glenn has a listed phone number and would schedule open office hours along with hosting coffee discussions throughout the district.
"One of the things that I have loved is knocking on doors," she said. "I made a decision in the last couple of weeks, that if elected, I want to be out meeting people at their doorstep and listening to what they want to tell me."
For more information on Glenn's candidacy, visit: AnnetteGlenn.com