LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Kelly Rossman-McKinney is the Democrat running for Michigan's 24th state Senate district. The 24th district covers Eaton County, Clinton County and northeast Ingham County. To see her opponents' answers to the same questions, click here.
*Responses have been lightly edited for grammar
1. Tell us about your personal life and your personal background.
I am a retired small business owner, the mom of four wonderful kids and the grandmother of two! I am married to Beloved Officer Dave.
2. What inspired you to run?
I’m fed up with the political gridlock and dangerous partisan politics in Lansing. Our State has lost focus on getting things done for our communities and balancing a budget while doing so. As a small business owner for more 30 years, I have worked hard to balance a budget while ensuring the best for my employees. I won’t ever put partisan politics before families, children and the people I serve.
3. What are the biggest issues affecting your district and Michigan right now?
I’ve knocked on thousands of doors in the 24th district and people – regardless of party – are concerned about a handful of issues, with roads being the top priority. Increasingly, however, they speak about their opposition and disgust with partisan politics and political bickering. People in this district also care deeply about access to quality education, quality healthcare, and jobs that pay a living wage. Unlike many districts in the state, however, access to broadband is also a serious issue which often gets overlooked in the overall infrastructure discussion.
4. What will be your biggest priority in Lansing if you are elected?
My top priority is to seek long-term, sustainable bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing the 24th district – fixing our roads, making sure our children get the best education possible, preserving and protecting access to affordable healthcare, etc.
5. What experiences will make you an effective legislator?
I have been a small business owner for 30 years, which has required constant fiscal vigilance and integrity. As the CEO and co-founder of the state’s most successful bipartisan public relations firm, I have worked closely with a business partner who has different political views. We have always had to work together, pushing forward for the greater good of our organization. That is precisely what I will bring to the table in the Michigan Senate – the mind of a small business owner and the heart of a mom who is committed to finding fair, reasonable and responsible solutions to the problems facing the people who live in the 24th district.
6. What characteristics or principles will make you an effective legislator?
I am not a career politician and have never run for office before. Not only do I bring a wealth of life experience to the Michigan Senate, but I am a compassionate listener who strives to get to the core of every issue. I am honest, fair and fierce and will do everything in my power to minimize political rhetoric and political gridlock. I am beholden to no one but the people of the 24th district.
7. What most informs your policymaking?
I strive to learn as much as I can about every issue from every source but I especially rely on non-partisan sources like Citizens Research Council. All my decisions will be driven by my commitment to be fair, reasonable and responsible and to represent the needs of the 24th district.
8. What is the most important duty of a state legislator?
A state legislator’s primary commitment is to be the voice for her district – whether it is working on legislation to solve problems or helping constituents address their individual concerns and frustrations with state government.
9. How much do you value bipartisanship and compromise?
The failure to embrace the concept of compromise and bipartisan solutions is one of the biggest downfalls of our current legislature. Recognizing and embracing bipartisanship and compromise is a driving principle for me.
10. Why should people vote for you?
The people of the 24th district deserve a state senator who is honest, fair and fierce – a state senator who is willing to listen, be open-minded, and seek viable, sustainable, responsible solutions to the problems facing our district and state. The people of the 24th district deserve a state senator who will work with them AND for them – and constantly seek their input.