Michigan's 1st Congressional District - the second largest district in land mass east of the Mississippi River - is unique in its conservative traditions and strong family values.
Not surprisingly then, the two main party candidates for this position both display those roots in portions of their platforms. However, when one examines more closely where their history has led them, and where their dreams are pointing them, we believe GOP candidate Dan Benishek is the right man to represent our interests in Congress for the next two years.
Our district has suffered dramatically from the effects of the economic recession. No longer are ore, cement and aggregate our leading export from the region. Unfortunately, today our leading export is people.
For too long now, our region has suffered from high unemployment and industrial closings. We need to break this terrible cycle and free ourselves from the economic chains that seem to be strangling us.
Democratic candidate Gary McDowell seems to be a likeable fellow. Yet as a state representative from Rudyard, he had ample opportunity in Lansing to make a difference and failed to do so. If anything, one can argue things only got worse, not better, in the years he was there.
While Benishek comes to this position with no political experience, we believe that is more a positive than a negative, and reflects the mood of the electorate across the district. What he lacks in political savvy, he seems to have with common sense.
We particularly appreciate the conservative fiscal values he has promoted throughout this campaign.
Over the past 31 years, the 1st Congressional District has had only two congressman. Republican Bob Davis served the district for 14 years from 1979-93, and Democrat Bart Stupak has been there ever since.
Benishek has promised that if elected, he will not continue that tradition, instead limiting himself to only six years in office, or three elections.
We find that position refreshing.
This is a critical election in our nation's history. It is an election that could re-shuffle the leadership and power in not only Washington, D.C., but also across the entire country, including Michigan.
The 1st Congressional District is a true battleground in this power struggle, and how we vote could very well chart the course of the country for the next two years.
We believe Benishek best reflects our region's hopes and aspirations, and for that reason we urge readers to remember his name when voting Tuesday.