Gretchen Driskell

  Gretchen Driskell is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Michigan's 7th District as the Democratic candidate.

(Scroll below to see all the Michigan Radio stories she's been mentioned in.)

As part of our election coverage, we asked all the major-party candidates running for Congress the same questions.

4 Questions for Gretchen Driskell.

1) What is the most important issue facing your district?

As I’ve traveled across the district listening to voters for almost two years now, the issue I hear the most concern about is access to good-paying jobs. Families in the 7th District are concerned about the economy and about their children’s future. They think—and I agree— that it’s time for us to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those with power and access. And they’re hungry for a voice that truly represents them. But the 7th District hasn’t had that kind of representation in Washington for 6 years. Congressman Walberg has voted for every foreign trade deal that’s crossed his desk in Congress, costing Michigan tens of thousands of jobs. As jobs and opportunity leave Michigan, Tim Walberg and the powerful special interests that bankroll him are thriving. I’m running to stop the bad trade deals that Congressman Walberg has always supported at the expense of working families and businesses.

2) How do you plan to address it?

I will fight to stop bad trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that threaten to outsource our jobs and fix bad deals like NAFTA that have forced our kids to leave Michigan to find work. Unlike Congressman Walberg, who voted to fast-track the TPP, I immediately came out against it and will continue to oppose it while working to keep jobs right here in Michigan. Walberg has been more interested in representing his powerful friends in Washington than he is the people who elected him. In Congress, I’ll stand up against the TPP and politicians like Walberg that can’t be trusted to fight for the hardworking families here in the 7th. I’ll also continue my hard work to help small businesses create good-paying jobs for Michigan families.

3) What book or movie have you seen/read recently that you would recommend? Why?

I would recommend bothMove: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead,” by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, and “Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100,” by Michio Kaku. Kanter’s book explains how prioritizing and rethinking our infrastructure can help move our economy forward. Her ideas include using public-private partnerships to help affordably revamp our infrastructure while creating jobs. Kaku’s book discusses the inventions that are likely to be introduced in the rest of the century, and how they will shape our economy and our lives. I believe it’s valuable to anticipate the changes the future will bring and make sure we adjust our policies to allow for advancement of technology.

4) If you don't win the election, what will you do?

The two days after the election I will be back to work in Lansing for legislative session. After that I’m looking forward to a day of rest on the lake. Whether I win or lose, I’m going to continue to advocate for working families by making sure we keep good-paying jobs right here in the state of Michigan, fostering small business growth, and making our communities safe and prosperous places for families to learn, work, and live. I also will continue my advocacy to make voting more accessible, secure, and modern, as well as working on issues of workforce development and how it is impacted by technology. Throughout my public service and my campaign for Congress, I’ve learned a lot about the many issues affecting Michiganders, and regardless of the outcome of the election I will continue building capacity in our state to help working families and our children.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Ingham County Sheriff's Office announced this week it will no longer detain people at the request of immigration, without a judge's order. It says immigration violations are "civil, not criminal, in nature, and are between the individual and the U-S Government." The Wayne County Sheriff's Office has a similar policy in place. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether other counties will follow suit.

Republican incumbent Tim Walberg beat Democratic challenger Gretchen Driskell in 2016. Now, Driskell is announcing she'll run again in 2018.
Tim Walberg for Congress; Gretchen Driskell for Congress

Despite losing by 15 points in one of the most expensive congressional battles in the state last year, former Saline mayor and state representative Gretchen Driskell believes 2018 could be different.

A sign posted in a Troy polling place in 2014.
ACLU of Michigan

In the lame duck session of the Michigan Legislature, a package of bills is being debated.

It would require already-registered Michigan voters to present a photo ID card. If you did not have an ID at the polling place you could vote, but you’d have to present an ID to election officials within 10 days or your vote would not count.

The vice chair of the House Elections Committee, Democrat Representative Gretchen Driskell joined Stateside to talk about why she voted "no" on the voter ID proposals in committee.

Lessenberry talks races to watch this Election Day

Nov 2, 2016
Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

Election Day is less than a week away, and one of the most competitive races in the nation is right here in Michigan.

For our segment This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Doug Tribou talk about Democrat Gretchen Driskell's bid to win the state's 7th Congressional District over incumbent Republican Tim Walberg.

They also talk about the race in the 1st Congressional District that could be important on a national level and whether third-party candidates stand a chance in Michigan.

Gretchen Driskell
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio


The race for Michigan’s 7th Congressional District is one of the most competitive in the country. The two major-party candidates have both raised more than $2 million for their campaigns.

Gretchen Driskell, a former seven-term mayor of Saline and the a current member of the Michigan House of Representatives, is the challenger in the race. And although she’s running as a Democrat, she considers herself an independent.

Downtown Eaton Rapids, in Michigan's 7th Congressional District, a race that's become one of the most expensive in the state.
Jodi Westrick/Michigan Radio

So you’re flipping around TV one night, and this campaign ad comes up:

 “Walberg DID vote yes on every trade deal. And just last year, he voted to give Obama enhanced power to negotiate T.P.P.” 

Gretchen Driskell got into politics by accident twenty-some years ago, when she was home with a toddler and a neighbor knocked on her door.

He was running for city council and wanted her support; she was an accountant and an MBA who had taken a few years off to raise her three kids, and was happy to talk to another adult.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s sagging poll numbers in Michigan may be behind a surprising rise in TV ad buys in one state congressional race.

Democratic state Representative Gretchen Driskell’s nascent campaign for Congress relies in part on the assumption that Hillary Clinton will be at the top of the Democratic ticket next year.

Three months ago, Gretchen Driskell was elected to a second term in the Michigan House of Representatives. Yesterday, she announced that next year, she will run for Congress.

There was a time when such an early announcement would have sparked derision and ridicule. The election is almost two years away.