Democratic candidates discuss unified plan to prioritize U.P. issues

NEGAUNEE — At the Upper Peninsula Democratic Summit over the weekend, candidates running to represent the Upper Peninsula in both state and federal races unveiled a plan to target the priorities of the region.

Candidate for 1st Congressional District Matt Morgan, Candidate for 38th State Senate and current 110th State Representative Scott Dianda, 109th District State Representative Sara Cambensy, Candidate for 108th District State Representative Bob Romps and Candidate for 110th State House Representative Ken Summers all attended the summit and announced their unified platform. The candidates said they introduced the plan as a team to promote their shared vision for the U.P.

“We’ve got a consistent message that’s really going to reach out to everybody, all the voters, not just one side or the other. These are the commons issues everybody is concerned about, and we’re going to continue to focus on them as a unified slate going forward in 2018,” said Morgan.

“We are family, the U.P. is a family. We’re all together, we all have a lot of the same ideals and the same wants,” said Romps.

The plan includes improving infrastructure, such as repairing roads and bringing broadband Internet access to all of the U.P., ensuring that rural areas will have continued access to affordable healthcare, revamping state education to better prepare students for the workforce and creating and improving jobs, emphasizing that bringing in new, high-tech positions is equally important to maintaining current jobs.

“A lot of the jobs that have brought a lot of security to our communities, our families — our police officers, our teachers, our nurses. We are actually seeing a huge decline in people going into those fields. I think first and foremost we get more people that are interested in going into those fields, pay them what they deserve, and make sure they have the right protections so that they can do a good job and want to stay in those fields” said 109th District State Representative Sara Cambensy.

Cambensy also said that politicians from both sides of the aisle are working together to make sure that Cleveland-Cliffs re-opens the Empire Mine this summer, instead of in Minnesota, as previously discussed.

The candidates plan to prioritize these issues on the campaign trail, and will continue to prioritize if elected.