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Battle for the seat: 110th State House District

Republican Greg Markkanen aims for a second term, while Democrat Janet Metsa looks to go to Lansing.
Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 5:24 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan’s 110th District, which covers six western U.P. counties, as well as two townships in Marquette County, is an area that has historically sent more Democrats to lower Michigan than Republicans.

Representative Greg Markkanen, however, says his constituents like how he has helped decrease the unemployment rate, making him more confident in his chances of winning a second term.

“When people call here, they’re in an unemployment crisis,” Markkanen said. "We didn’t ask whether they were a Democrat or a Republican. We just gained. We fought for assistance for them from the UIA and other state agencies. So, we’re proud of that, and I like my chances.”

Democrat Janet Metsa, if elected, wants to continue building on some of the changes businesses have made during the COVID-19 Pandemic, saying working remotely can benefit the economy.

“That helps bring people and money back to the U.P.,” Metsa said, "if we can develop the kind of infrastructure to make remote business look more accessible.”

The MIT graduate also says she plans to make high-level education a top priority. She explains that strengthening the K-12 budget will help make sure schoolkids get the materials needed for success.

“Looking first at the K-12 budget and making sure that we have adequate resources,” she stated, "and then making sure we have enough money in our constituents' pockets so they can feel comfortable in supporting our local schools.”

Markkanen, however, says he is ahead of the game, serving as a long-time teacher and taking time to know the public school system inside and out.

“I’m a former educator for K-14,” he mentioned. "I have taught at the community college level. I have taught through the K-12 public schools system, and I support our public schools.”

Markkanen is also campaigning on the Second Amendment, the Line 5 Pipeline, and auto insurance reform, while Metsa is running on issues such as affordable and reliable energy, protecting the environment, and accessible healthcare.

In 2018, Markkanen defeated Democratic candidate Ken Summers. Metsa says, with her scientific and environmental background, she is confident that the tables will turn on her opponent.

“I have some strengths that the previous Democrat did not (have),” she said, "and it has become clear, as I go through the district, that makes a difference.”

Markkanen says, if re-elected, he’ll continue to push for more legislation to improve the district.

“Another proud moment is the fact that I have had two bills signed by the governor already,” he mentioned. "I will continue to get other bills signed that will help this district and help the state.”

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