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Pro-teacher Republican chosen to run for 51st District

Republicans in Genessee County have chosen a candidate who says he’s pro-teacher, in the election to replace Representative Paul Scott, who was recalled.

Joe Graves is a Genessee County Commissioner.   He says many members of his family are teachers.

Paul Scott’s 51st District seat is vacant, after the state’s largest teachers’ union led a recall against him. 

Scott was chairman of the House Education Committee.

Recall organizers attacked Scott for voting to cut K-12 education and extending Michigan’s income tax to pensions. 

Graves says he wouldn’t have voted for that tax change.  He says many people had to retire early because of the recession, and the income tax is ill-timed.

He also says teachers aren’t the problem in Michigan.  The problem is lack of jobs.

"This race is not about Paul Scott, this is not about Democrats, about Republicans, this is only about moving the state forward and creating jobs," says Graves.

The 48-year old Graves says schools need more money, and the best way to get it is to make Michigan a pro-business state.

He says Democrats and Republicans in Lansing should be working together, with a laser focus on jobs.

Democrats will choose their candidate for the race December 1st.


Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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