As we move towards the midterm elections on November 6, Stateside has been having conversations with statewide candidates. Today, we speak to two of the candidates runnning in Michigan's 7th Congressional District, Republican incumbent Tim Walberg, and his Democratic opponent Gretchen Driskell.
One issue where the candidates differ is Proposal 2, a ballot initiative that could change the way congressional district boundaries are drawn. This is particularly relevant to the 7th District, where the lines are visibly drawn around certain cities.
Walberg, the district's current congressman, says he will be voting no on the proposal. He said he's concerned that the name of the group advocating for the proposal — Voters Not Politicians — is not an accurate representation of the initiative.
"It takes away the voters’ responsibility and right and privilege to elect the people from their own districts who will establish the redistricting plan —that’s the state Legislature — and now it gives it to one person who will make the decision," Walberg said.
It is Driskell's second time running against the Republican incumbent for the 7th District seat. She told Stateside she supports Proposal 2's initiative to turn redistricting over to an independent commission.
“I think that we need a balanced democracy, and we don’t have a balanced democracy right now. I think the voters are completely frustrated that we get [a] more democratic vote over the statewide, and yet that’s not reflected right now in the state House," said Driskell.
Listen to the full interview above to hear host Lester Graham ask Driskell about her stance on Trump's tariffs and the proposal to legalize recreational pot. You'll also hear from Congressman Walberg about his stance on climate change and PFAS chemical contamination.
Updated on November 2, 2018 at 12:30pm:
This post was updated to clarify that Walberg was referring to the name of the group advocating for Proposal 2 — Voters Not Politicans — in his comment about the slogan of the group not being representative of the proposal.