Former state representative Doug Spade (D-Adrian) announced this week his intention to seek the state senator seat to represent Lenawee, Hillsdale, Branch and St. Joseph counties.
At kick-off events in all four counties, Spade said state government desperately needs legislators who focus on building consensus instead of blaming each other.
“With two government shut-downs in the past three years, a seeming inability to act on pressing matters in a timely fashion, and a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude of inflexibility exhibited by all too many elected officials, it’s no surprise the public has lost confidence in state government,” Spade said.
Spade became only the second blind legislator in Michigan history when he was elected to the House in 1998.
“I am not running for this seat to throw stones or play political games,” Spade said. “I am running because I want the opportunity to go back to Lansing, represent all the people of the 16th District, and work with both sides of the aisle to find solutions that will move Michigan forward.”
With Lenawee and Hillsdale having some of the highest unemployment rates in the state, and Branch and St. Joseph not far behind, Spade said his focus is clear.
“My top priority will be improving and diversifying the economy and bringing more jobs to the 16th District and the State of Michigan,” Spade said. “Michigan wins when we have policies in place that benefit business and workers alike. We don’t have to reward one side at the expense of the other to move Michigan forward.”
A lifelong resident of the 16th District, Spade grew up on the family dairy farm in Hillsdale County, is a graduate of both Camden-Frontier High School and Adrian College, and has owned several small businesses. His early interest in broadcasting led to his own radio show on WCSR in Hillsdale when he was just eight years old. Later, he worked for nearly 30 years at WLEN in Adrian, where he hosted a telephone talk show for 25 years and served as the station’s operations manager.
During the past four years, Spade worked for the state as Supplier Diversity Liaison and a member of the Buy Michigan First team, with a special emphasis on helping business owners with disabilities and service-disabled veteran business owners learn how to bid on and win state government contracts. He stepped down from the position earlier this month to concentrate on the campaign.