Name: Mark Behnke
Office you are Seeking: State Representative, District 62
Current Profession: Owner, Behnke Trucking Inc.
Where Do you Live: Battle Creek, MI
Marital Status and Children: Married with two children.
Why did you choose to run for this office?
I am running for State Representative because I have a passion for my community and state. We see too many politicians in Lansing and Washington who seem focused on the negative: fighting and confrontation. I believe we must work together to find solutions that benefit our customers — the citizens of Michigan. I'm also running because I have two children that mean the world to me. I can't stand the thought of having to drive hours or get on a plane to see them because they can't find a job in Michigan after graduation. The bottom line is that I am running to make Michigan a better place for my children and future generations.
What is the most pressing problem facing the State of Michigan?
While Lansing has made progress, we still have a high unemployment rate and roads that are crumbling. We can and must do better. Creating a positive culture to attract business to Michigan is more than just a lower tax rate — we also need to provide a solid infrastructure and eliminate burdensome regulations. We can't allow Lansing to slip back to the old way of doing things. A more transparent government is a must and providing citizens easier access to their elected officials in Lansing is critical.
Under the current administration in Michigan there have been both more revenues (taxes), and cuts in the budget. Do you prefer a more balanced combination of the two to continue balancing the budget or would you prefer more taxes or more cuts?
Lansing must do more with less. As a small business owner, I have had to tighten my belt to get by and keep the doors open. I understand what it takes to operate efficiently while providing the best possible customer service possible. By making my priorities clear: fewer burdensome regulations and bureaucratic red tape, stronger infrastructure (roads), a better system to educate our children, and a small social safety net for those most in need, I believe we can continue balancing the budget without raising taxes on our hard working families.
What do you bring to this race, and potentially to the office you seek, that would make a difference for the people of Michigan?
I bring common sense and the passion to fight for solutions to move Michigan forward. We can't allow politicians to put politics before progress. We should be operating the leanest and most effective state government in the nation! As a small business owner, I understand what it takes and will use this knowledge to act as a voice for the people on a daily basis. I look for solutions – not confrontation.
As a small business owner, you find solutions and provide excellent customer service (results!) for your customers if you want to earn their business — without excuses. I have a track record of doing just that as a small business owner and local elected official. If elected, I will continue that record as the next State Representative in Michigan's 62nd House District.
Given the political polarization in Lansing and Washington, D.C., is there something you would do to try and change that culture or do you believe that highly partisan politics is simply "the way it is" in today's legislative environment.
Entrenched politicians in Lansing and Washington DC just don't get it. The status quo is no longer acceptable and should not be tolerated. We must have a positive attitude and work to find solutions, rather than generate unnecessary confrontation for the purpose of political posturing. As State Representative, I will work daily to promote the positive attributes we have in this beautiful state, put citizens first, and fight for common sense solutions. Michigan deserves nothing less and I look forward to bringing a new and refreshing attitude if I am selected to serve. Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself on my positions, and I hope to earn your vote on November 6th.
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