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3 Questions with the Candidate: MI-House District 73

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Incumbent - Rep. Chris Afendoulis (R-Grand Rapids)    

Three candidates are running for state house in Michigan’s 73rd district. The incumbent is Republican Chris Afendoulis. A small business co-owner and Certified Public Accountant, Afendoulis has also served as Grand Rapids Township Treasurer.

Q: Why politics?

A: “I have always had an interest in public service even from when I was a young person I followed elections, I followed politics and I had an interest to see how things work in government, what are good public policy and how can you make things better for the citizens of the country?”

Q: Under what dire circumstance or government necessity would you be willing to support a tax increase?

A: “I would always look first at a way to cut costs to save money to avoid a tax increase. I think as lawmakers we have to keep our options open because if there were a circumstance that dire that you had to raise taxes and you would have to at least be able to evaluate it. But again, I always look at cost saving first.”

Q: If the election were held today, why would you – or – why would you not, vote for your party’s Presidential nominee?

A: “I have steadfastly said I am a Republican and I would support my party’s nominee.”

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Deb Havens (D-Grand Rapids)

Democrat Deb Havens ran for Michigan Senate in 2014 and lost. Now she’s one of three candidates running in Michigan’s 73rd House district. Havens is a former TV producer and screenwriter also a former professor at Grand Valley State University and high school educator.

Q: Why politics?

A: “I have always had an interest in public service even from when I was a young person I followed elections, I followed politics and I had an interest to see how things work in government, what are good public policy and how can you make things better for the citizens of the country?”

Q: Under what dire circumstance or government necessity would you be willing to support a tax increase?

A: “I would always look first at a way to cut costs to save money to avoid a tax increase.  I think as lawmakers we have to keep our options open because if there were a circumstance that dire that you had to raise taxes and you would have to at least be able to evaluate it. But again, I always look at cost saving first.”

Q: If the election were held today, why would you – or – why would you not, vote for your party’s Presidential nominee?

A: “I have steadfastly said I am a Republican and I would support my party’s nominee.”

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Ron Heeren (L-Grand Rapids)

Ron Heeren has been a member of the Libertarian Party for more than 35 years. He’s a U.S. Navy veteran and a U.S. Postal Service retiree, now he wants to represent voters in Michigan’s 73rd House District. 

Q: Why politics?

A: “I was asked by my party to support Gary Johnson and to be on the ticket. ”

Q: Under what dire circumstance or government necessity would you be willing to support a tax increase?

A: “Each time you have to look at it from a standpoint of mom and pop. What are they going to want to pay for and what do they see that they need in their budget to take care of themselves? If that isn’t something the government can justify as a citizen expense for their home and for their family it shouldn’t be supported.”

Q: If the election were held today, why would you – or – why would you not, vote for your party’s Presidential nominee?

A: “I will vote for Gary Johnson and William Weld for President and Vice President, two term governors, term limited only, as opposed to an unconventional candidate who can’t even tell us why he keeps on stammering and a lady who can’t explain why she did the dumb thing of making her own server for a government job.”

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.