U.S. Sen. Gary Peters

John James photo
John James Campaign

Republican businessman John James of Michigan says he will challenge first-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters in 2020 in a key state for President Donald Trump's re-election chances.

James is the 37-year-old African American combat veteran and CEO of an automotive logistics company in Detroit. He lost to longtime Sen. Debbie Stabenow last year but did better than expected, considering he started as a political unknown and the race was never prioritized as a battleground by the national GOP in a successful year for Michigan Democrats.

Dr. Philomena V. Mantella portrait

President Donald Trump dedicated one sentence to education during his State of the Union Address.

Incoming Grand Valley State University president, Dr. Philomena Mantella, attended the joint session of Congress as a guest of Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters. Monday before leaving for Washington D.C., Dr. Mantella told WGVU she was hopeful President Trump would highlight higher education’s role in America’s future. What did she make of the President’s brief remark?

“I would have liked to have seen education take a broader role in the conversation.”

Dr. Philomena V. Mantella portrait

Grand Valley State University’s president-elect Dr. Philomena Mantella will attend tonight’s State of the Union Address as a guest of Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters. WGVU spoke with Dr. Mantella about Grand Valley’s role in the state’s workforce development and expectations for President Trump’s address.

“Well, this is a first for me. So, this will be exciting on a personal level.”

Dr. Philomena V. Mantella portrait

As a guest of Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters, Grand Valley State University’s president-elect will join members of the U.S. Congress for Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address. WGVU spoke with Dr. Philomena Mantella.

“It was a personal call to my cellphone from Senator Peters and I thought what a wonderful welcome into the state.”

Last month, Dr. Philomena Mantella was named Grand Valley State University’s fifth president. While she won’t officially take office until July, she tells me meeting with U.S. Senate and House leadership is a tremendous occasion.

Lou Anna Simon, Former President Michigan State University

Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon appears tomorrow for a command performance before a US Senate panel. This will be her first public comments since she stepped down in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal.

Simon will testify under subpoena. She faces questions on how Nassar was allowed to remain MSU’s medical staff and prey on hundreds of sports medicine patients over a 20-year period. Nassar survivors say their complaints were ignored by the university. S

enator Gary Peters of Michigan will sit in on the hearing, and says he has questions.


U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow visited with Grand haven-based R.A. Miller Industries, maker of military antenna systems, where she announced new legislation protecting taxpayer dollars and American made products.

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters of Michigan are introducing the Make It In America Act. It strengthens the 1933 Buy America Act that the Senators say, “gives priority to American companies when the federal government purchases goods. However, the current law has numerous exemptions.”