Kivela best choice for 109th

Nolan Krebs

On Tuesday, Nov. 6., voters in Marquette County will be deciding on a number of issues. From choosing a presidential candidate to deciding on the six statewide proposals, there’s a lot to chew on this election season.

One race that students may not be aware of is the battle for the 109th District of the Michigan House of Representatives, which oversees Alger, Schoolcraft, Luce and Marquette counties.

This year, Marquette’s Democratic mayor John Kivela will be facing off against Burt Township Supervisor Jack Hubbard.

Both candidates are vying for the seat of current state representative Steve Lindberg (D-Marquette), who is unable to run again because of term limits.

Two of the most discussed topics for the candidates are jobs and the economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Michigan currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, resting around 9.3 percent.

Kivela, a Marquette native, has said his main focus as mayor has been jobs. He believes that the key to an economic turnaround is job creation, which will lead to more funding for programs like education.

Kivela plans to bring jobs and money to the area by making the K.I.-Sawyer airport an international port. According to Kivela, 80 percent of Michigan products are shipped internationally by small to medium size companies. Making Sawyer an international airport will boost the economy by making the area a global competitor.

Kivela also plans to increase the amount of reliable energy in the Upper Peninsula to encourage companies to come here. He plans to utilize the natural resources in the area by promoting logging and mining.

Hubbard, who is also a Marquette native, agrees with Kivela regarding the potential of the Upper Peninsula’s natural resources. According to Hubbard’s website, one of his main goals is to “promote the wise use of our natural resources, including agriculture, mining and logging in order to bring good paying jobs back to the U.P.”

Hubbard also plans to promote deregulation of government policies affecting employers and entrepreneurs. Hubbard’s website also mentions that he plans to “rein in the out of control governmental bureaucracies.”

From the information provided by the candidates thus far, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of black and white differences between their policies. They both make it clear that their main goals are to utilize the resources of the U.P. to create jobs and improve the educational systems.

The candidates have different levels of experience: Kivela has experience working in the 109th as the mayor of Marquette, and Hubbard has experience working with legislators in the state capitol. However, it is in this difference that one candidate shows a red flag.

Hubbard’s claims to “rein in out of control governmental bureaucracies” and to “help take the unreasonable regulatory load off the backs of employers and entrepreneurs” displays the same disappointing rhetoric that so often comes from the mouths of conservative politicians.

One of the greatest sources of divisiveness in elections across the board this year is how voters see regulations and the role of the government.

In a North Wind article written earlier in October, Hubbard was quoted as having said, “I have a real advantage, as I’ve been [to Lansing] to deal with people, and I already know an enormous amount and work with a lot of people.”

A candidate who so casually boasts about their expanse of knowledge seems less open to new ideas and less open to the needs of others.

Hubbard went on to say, “The problem new legislators face is bureaucrats who try to spin them around, but I’ve been down that road and won’t get spun around the way others have.”

This is the view of someone on the defense. Voters should seek out a candidate that would come into office with an open mind, willing and able to seek out new solutions and think outside of the box. That’s why voters in the 109th should vote for John Kivela.