Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gary McDowell announces candidacy for Congress

RUDYARD, Mich. -- Rudyard hay farmer and small business owner Gary McDowell officially announced on Wednesday, Sept. 14, his candidacy for Michigan’s 1st Congressional District to oppose incumbent Congressman Dan Benishek.

"No one in Washington is looking out for regular people in Northern Michigan and the UP. The Democrats don’t recognize we need to cut spending and the Republicans don’t care what happens to people like us who have to work for a living," said Gary McDowell. "Congressman Dan Benishek has quickly become part of the problem. He voted to end Medicare and voted against Northern Michigan’s economic interests while giving more tax breaks to big corporations."

Congressman Benishek has taken dozens of votes against the interests of taxpayers and families in the UP and Northern Michigan:
  • Despite being home to the oldest population of any Congressional district outside of Florida, Congressman Benishek voted to privatize Social Security, end Medicare and force seniors to pay $6,400 more every year and buy insurance directly from the insurance companies.
  • Congressman Benishek promised not to vote to increase America’s ballooning deficit; but, in a last minute deal this summer, Benishek actually supported the plan that added $8 trillion to the debt over ten years by giving even more taxpayer-funded subsidies to special interests and giving the average millionaire $200,000 a year in new tax breaks.
  • Congressman Benishek voted against local jobs and our area’s critical tourism industry when he supported a plan to close seven regional airports in the 1st District in Ironwood, Houghton, Iron Mountain, Escanaba, Sault Ste. Marie, Alpena and Manistee. These airports are not only a critical link for residents but also move mail, commerce and visitors -- supporting area job growth.
"Congressman Benishek went to Washington and just forgot about Northern Michigan and the UP," McDowell continued. "And that’s the problem -- nobody is doing what’s right for the country or looking out for people who have to work for a living here in Northern Michigan."

A native of Rudyard, Michigan, Gary McDowell is a hay farmer and has served for over 20 years as the Treasurer for McDowell Hay, Inc., a 1,000-acre hay farming and distribution company in Rudyard, which he owns with his brothers.

"As a middle class farmer, I want to take some Northern Michigan common sense to Washington in order to cut wasteful spending and reduce the debt, focus on creating jobs here in Michigan, and to protect Social Security and Medicare," McDowell said.

After former 1st District Congressman Bart Stupak announced his retirement in the spring of 2010, Benishek won the Republican primary by only 15 votes and defeated McDowell with 51 percent of the vote in November 2010.

McDowell is a retired State Representative from District 107. Read more about Gary McDowell on his Facebook page.

Editor's Note: Gary McDowell spoke at a rally of teachers and union members in Houghton last May. See a video clip of his speech in our May 15, 2011, article, "Local teachers, union members rally for schools."

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