editorial: AnnArbor.com endorses Debbie Stabenow in U.S. Senate race
Michigan’s U.S. Senate race features a two-term incumbent from East Lansing and a former U.S. Congressman from Western Michigan as Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow is challenged by Republican Pete Hoekstra. Of the two, we believe Stabenow is the best choice for Washtenaw County voters.
Hoekstra’s stance on fiscal responsibility and job growth will resonate with voters, who nationally are prioritizing economic issues as among the top concerns in this election.
However, Stabenow is the candidate who we believe will most effectively speak for the goals of most Washtenaw County voters as she makes decisions as a U.S. Senator.
Like Hoekstra, that includes support of key business concerns. Stabenow says she prioritizes the economy: Stabenow speaks of high-speed rail and clean energy manufacturing as areas of importance to the region. Also on her list: Education, the environment and equal rights.
During her current term, she said she’s been most proud of advocating for the American auto industry. The recovery of that industry includes job growth across Michigan, including in and near Ann Arbor — at the same time as it bolsters the entire U.S. economy amid ongoing concerns about the federal deficit, European financial problems and slow growth.
Auto industry growth from innovation continues to be among Stabenow’s goals, which she’s pursuing for Michigan via participation in the federal request for a new site for a National Advanced Battery Innovation Hub. The approval of that hub was among the key provisions of Stabenow’s Battery Innovation Act, initiated in 2011.
Battery innovation remains a target for the auto industry and offers ongoing opportunity to researchers in Southeast Michigan, particularly the Ann Arbor area. The recent bankruptcy of A123 Systems and,before that, Solyndra, brought into question the federal government’s role in financing the endeavors. We believe that’s appropriate, given the hundreds of millions in public money that backed the respective companies. However, theopportunity to encourage and find markets for alternative energy should still be a federal goal even as we encourage it to stop that degree of financing for single entities.
Stabenow’s committees also give her a key role in decision-making: She’s chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; and she sits on the Senate Budget Committee, Senate Energy Committee; and Senate Finance Committee, making decisions on issues like Social Security, Medicare and trade policy.
Many elected offices will be decided on Nov. 6 by economic concerns of voters. We find Stabenow’s stated concern for middle-income and senior citizen voters to be a balance with the business interests that have endorsed her, like the Detroit Regional Chamber, and environmental groups like Clean Water Action.
A politician will struggle to reflect the will of all voters, but the range of interest groups supporting Stabenow affirms our own decision that Washtenaw County will be well-represented if she earns a third term in the U.S. Senate.
AnnArbor.com endorsements are the results of AnnArbor.com interviews with candidates and reporting. The endorsement team includes Laurel Champion, executive vice president; Paula Gardner, community news director; and members of Gardner’s staff, including Bob Needham, entertainment director and former Ann Arbor News editorial page editor; and Cindy Heflin, managing producer.