In less than a year from now, Michigan voters will elect a new governor. Current lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, is among the republican candidates hoping to replace Rick Snyder, who is term-limited.
Calley is currently on a statewide campaign tour that took him to Grand Rapids.
"In order to take Michigan to the next level, it's really about our people and making sure that they are equipped with everything that they need to go out there and compete and win at a 21st century global economy," Calley said.
Calley said West Michigan has always been a leader.
"Really this whole area has been so successful in taking this better environment that has been built in the state and maximizing that impact so I can't wait to see where we can go from here," Calley said.
He said education is one of the most crucial elements in his platform.
"Education really is everything. education is freedom, education is how you end poverty, education is how you lower crime. Education is a really powerful thing that we can do," Calley said.
And Calley thinks careers in skilled trades need to be a priority.
"I'll simplify it this way, accountants need plumbers and plumbers need accountants. You have to have well balanced approach to have the strongest economy possible and our education system really needs to recognize that. Kids are individual and we can't treat them like they're standardized," Calley said.
The governor's office took a lot of heat during the Flint Water Crisis. In 2016, Calley moved his office to Flint.
"It gave me an opportunity to really go and work on the ground with people, shoulder to shoulder, on things like early childhood education and nutrition and economic development, health care on top of the infrastructure work," Calley said.
Recently, the PFAS chemical was found in well water in part of Kent County. Calley said this chemical is actually present nationwide.
"Michigan is on the front end of this and so we want to make sure that we're leaders, not followers, so while this is something that the nation is kind of waking up to, that there is this type of contamination that exists in a lot of places, we need to be as proactive as possible," Calley said.
Calley won't say whether he anticipates an endorsement from Governor Snyder, but said they have a very strong partnership in bringing the state of Michigan to the place where it is now.
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