In the Republican primary for state representative in the 61st district, conservatives have a clear choice: Phil Stinchcomb.
The district is being vacated by Margaret O'Brien, who is running for state senate. There are two Republican candidates: Phil Stinchcomb and Brandt Iden. Both are Kalamazoo County Commissioners who were first elected in 2010. However, they have different approaches to politics.
Phil Stinchcomb is a principled conservative who will vote for conservative values even when it isn't convenient. His focus in office has been reforming the property tax system, including the way that home values are assessed. This may not be the most glamorous issue, but it has a real impact on many homeowners. In the process, he attracted the ire of many local government officials worried that fixing property tax assessments would threaten their budgets.
Similarly, Phil can be counted on to vote against Medicaid expansion, Common Core, gas tax increases, and corporate welfare, unlike many Republicans in Lansing. This blog is not aware of Brandt Iden having taken positions on these issues. Phil has higher ratings on gun rights from both the National Rifle Association and Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners.
None of this should imply that Brandt Iden is a bad guy. But his short career in politics so far suggests that he would go along to get along, and support bad legislation if it would be politically convenient. Iden also touts his endorsements from various business lobbies. But while these groups support some good things, they also support all sorts of corporate welfare spending, subsidies, and tax loopholes. Their support for Iden suggests that he is likely to do the same.
Phil Stinchcomb would be a consistent defender of the free market, right to life, gun rights, and family values. Conservatives should give him their support on August 5.