DRYDEN TWP. — He refers to the past, not as a goal or a destination, or something to which we should return, but as a measuring stick, a series of markers.
The past is something one must study in order to proceed in an intelligent and strategic way. History should be used as a tool, and it would appear that Republican Paul Mitchell is fully aware of this fact as he sets forth on his campaign for a seat in Congress.
Mitchell, 58, a businessman from Dryden Township, has announced that he is running for Congress, in an effort to fill the seat that Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, will leave vacant after her decision not to seek re-election. Mitchell worked for the company that operates Saginaw’s Ross Medical Education Center medical education provider for more than 29 years, serving as its CEO for more than six years. Earlier this week, at his family’s farm, Mitchell made the official announcement that he will embark on a 2016 campaign for 10th Congressional District.
The 10th District includes the counties of Lapeer, Huron, Sanilac, St. Clair as well as northern Macomb County.
In an interview with The County Press on Thursday, Mitchell discussed his reasoning for his campaign and his career in politics, stating, “The American dream is slipping away for our kids and our grandkids. And it sounds a little bit trite to say that, but (that’s the) reality. I grew up with six brothers and sisters, my dad built trucks on the line, and my mom worked at Salvation Army. I’ve had the opportunity to live that American dream. I worked my way through college, worked my way through a couple companies… Only in the United States is that possible.”
Mitchell discussed his “humble background” and his mission to reinstate the opportunity to seek out and achieve the dream he described. Mitchell hopes to be able to use his experience as a businessman and leader to establish himself as the conservative answer to the problems Michigan is currently facing.
According to his website, “Earlier this year, Mitchell led the grassroots fight against Proposal 1, the $2 billion proposed tax increase on the May 5 ballot. If passed, Proposal 1 would have been the largest Michigan tax increase in 50 years. Mitchell personally funded and led a grassroots effort that campaigned all over the state to help defeat the $2 billion tax by the largest margin in election history.”
Mitchell also personally funded a failed bid for Congress last year, spending about $3.5 million of his own money. When asked what that says about his dedication and self-assuredness, Mitchell replied, “If you have skills, if you have resources, then your responsibility is to try to put them to use, making a difference. I did that in my career. I was able to build a career, raise a family, and help people move their lives forward. And I enjoyed that immensely. I thought, when I looked at the political climate, I believe that we would be better off with more conservative, business-oriented people that understand that when you grow the economy, all people are better off.”
While he sings the praises of Miller and her success in the Thumb region, Mitchell believes that he is the person for the job. He says that he intends to “bring values to the table and stand for them.” He stated that it is his intent to reestablish the fact that the government is not the entity that creates jobs, and instead should focus on creating an environment that is conducive to economic growth.
“Government doesn’t create employment,” he said. “They take our money, they create bureaucracy. My background is economics and political policy, and it doesn’t create Gross Domestic Product or economic growth by taking our money… The Affordable Care Act, in fact, has created a significant shift in job creation, where the majority of new jobs being created are part-time… The reality is that most jobs being created are less than 40 hours (per week), when there used to be a more significant mix of that.”
Mitchell detailed his intentions to assist in creating an environment that will foster job-creation and entrepreneurship. He said that, after his role in the defeat of Proposal 1, his next big challenge lies in being available to the voters of the 10th District. He intends to “answer the tough questions” and be respectful of the men and women who will vote for or against him.
Republican state Sen. Phil Pavlov of St. Clair Township and former state Sen. Alan Sanborn of Richmond have both announced their bid for 10th District and will be running against Mitchell in the 2016 election.