Oesterle Looking to Break Democratic/Byrum Hold on 67th District

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

The 67th District and the name Byrum have been married for quite some time now. From 2002-2006, Dianne Byrum held the district's seat in Michigan's state House of Representatives. Her daughter Barb Byrum took over for the last four years.

Despite a tough election cycle and a national trend against incumbents, Byrum is confident she can hold onto her seat.

"I'm cautiously optimistic," said Rep. Byrum. "I've been reaching out to voters, knocking on doors and voters have been very positive."

That may be, but Byrum says she isn't deaf to the frustration some of her constituents have expressed about how the state legislature is handling things.

"They are demanding some changes in Lansing," said Rep. Byrum. "I've led the change, voting to eliminate lifetime healthcare for legislators and voting to take a 10 percent pay cut."

Byrum's Republican opponent Jeff Oesterle says he plans to bring change to Lansing too, especially when it concerns education.

"We need to change both the way [education] is funded and the way it's delivered," said Oesterle. "We haven't had a change in the funding for quite a number of years now."

Oesterle brings a wealth of experience. He has previously served as President of the Ingham Co. Farm Bureau and as Vevay Township Supervisor. But one of the prime sources of experience he says he draws on is work with his family farm.

"I understand what small businesses require," said Oesterle. "We have to make the business climate in Lansing more conducive to jobs."

Byrum has a small business background too. She owns Byrum True Value Hardware in Charlotte.

"As a small business owner I know that 90 percent of jobs here in Michigan are created by small businesses," said Byrum. "We need to roll out the red carpet for small businesses not tighten up the red tape."

Political consultant Bill Rustem of Public Sector Consultants says this is not a slam dunk for the two-term Democratic incumbent.

"She does have a little bit to be concerned about," said Rustem. "This is one of those races that is frankly going to be close."

It's not just close, it's also potentially very important.

"It's one of the handful of races that will determine who controls the House," said Rustem. "It's one of those 50-50 districts that could really go either way."

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jen Location: Williamston on Oct 29, 2010 at 12:30 PM
    Hmm, a liberal Democrat on TV saying liberal things? How strange. Another idiot "Anonymous", thanks for posting your useless, ignorant spew.
  • by non anonymous on Oct 28, 2010 at 08:54 PM
    I feel sorry for the trees that got turned into the stupid fliers that have jam packed my mailbox for a week.
  • by non anonymous on Oct 28, 2010 at 09:56 AM
    Politicians look to serve themselves first. Serve the (dem/repub) monarchy second. Serve us last.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 28, 2010 at 08:04 AM
    The only time I see byrum on tv is when she is experssing her liberal views.
  • by Ryan Buck Location: Lansing on Oct 27, 2010 at 05:15 PM
    To Chuck: Respectfully, you are misinformed regarding the healthcare for legislators issue. Byrum has voted to END lifetime healthcare benefits for legislators. It was the leaders in both chambers of the Legislature, a Republican leadership in the Senate and a Democratic leadership in the House that didn't allow the cut to include present legislators. As far as basing your vote on one issue, this is a very dangerous proposition for Michigan in and of itself. In reality, Michigan has more than one issue facing it. I invite you to reconsider Byrum for all that she offers our community. She is capable, honest, and will fight for our us, the residents of Ingham County, even when she has to go against her own party to do so (such as again: voting in favor of ending lifetime health benefits for legislators INTENDING SUCH CUTS TO INCLUDE PRESENT LEGISLATORS).
  • by Steve Location: Lansing on Oct 27, 2010 at 12:16 PM
    Ms. Byrum has continued to vote against lifetime health care for elected officials. She has more importantly voted several times to cut her own pay, however Mr. Oesterle has voted several times to increase his own salary as twp supervisor (paid for by the taxpayers of vevay township) over 300 percent. Mr. Oesterle also has taken millions of dollars from the federal government in subsidies for his farm. And he keeps saying he's against government spending. HAHA
  • by Chuck Location: Williamston on Oct 27, 2010 at 05:50 AM
    Mr Oesterle. I would vote for you as long as your up for election on one issue. I did not know our elected receive health care for the rest of their life. I had to work 30 yrs for mine and that was all full time not on a part time job. Thank you and you had my vote.
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