Meet the Candidates

Eric Higgins

Born in Virginia, Fred L. Johnson III was the son of an Air Force Tech Sgt. and served nine years as a Marine Corps officer. In 2008, Johnson was the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Michigan’s 2nd District. He serves on several boards in the Holland Community including Holland Area Arts Council, Latin – Americans United for Progress, and Disabilities Action Network Lakeshore. Johnson has two sons, Fred IV and Timothy and has written several books, his latest titled “Tupac Shakur: The Life and Times of an American Icon.” He is currently working on another book titled “America’s Blind Spot: U.S. Foreign Policy in East Africa, 1945 to Present.” Johnson also has many public speaking achievements. In 2006, he division champion and second place winner in District 62 for the Toastmasters International Speech Contest. In 2007 and 2008, he won the District 62 championship and advanced to the semifinal rounds of the International Speech Competition.

Main Issues and Stance

* Lead on Job Creation: Short, medium and long-term approaches to job creation in order to heal the damage caused by the Bush recession.

* Strengthen Economic Security: Johnson supports the implementation of strong regulations for drilling. He also advocates working to move the United States from its dependence on fossil fuels to clean energy and a clean energy grid and economy. Johnson also supports national energy reform legislation.

* Fix the Housing Market: Johnson supports two important ideas to fix the housing market. The first idea is to require the big banks to prove that they are making loans to home buyers and small businesses as a condition of their access to interest-free capital. The second idea is to require banks that took TARP money to actively restructure mortgages for people who were victims of bad lending practices.

* Plan for Deficit Reduction: Johnson’s plan includes four points to reduce the deficit. The first point is to enact a 10 year plan to eliminate the deficit. The second point is across the board cuts. The third point is a tax reform and the final point is no immediate “meat ax” approach.

* Improve Veterans Services: Johnson supports legislation by Minnesota Senator Debbie Klobuchar that would start a program that would explore better ways of making VA services available in rural areas. He also believes in making a higher priority of job retraining and college affordability for veterans of all wars. Most importantly though, Johnson believes that reconsideration has to be given to how cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are handled.

* Protect our Natural Resources: Johnson and some of his Congressional colleagues from the great lakes states will work to craft legislation that will do four things: ban oil drilling, take measures to stop Asian Carp, implement eradication programs to get rid of non-native species that are already in the lakes and establish strong protections against water diversion and/or big bottling projects.

Born in Zeeland, Bill Huizenga graduated from Holland Christian High School in 1987 and received his bachelors degree from Calvin College. He became a realtor after college and in 1997, he took a job as Congressman Pete Hoekstra’s Director of Public Policy. In 1999, Huizenga purchased a small gravel company in Jenison which he would name Huizenga Gravel Inc. He is still a co-owner of the business today. In 2002, Huizenga decided to run for the Michigan House of Representatives and was elected to serve the Southern portion of Ottowa County, Michigan’s 90th district. He and his wife Natalie have five children.

Main Issues and Stance

* Job Creation: Lower taxes and eliminating regulatory barriers that are an obstacle to entrepreneurs.

* Economy: On the subject of the economy, Huizenga wants the United States to turn into a culture of moderation in order to pay off the nation’s debt.

* Social Security: Huizenga believes a long term fix for social security should include the option of a personal retirement account that younger workers can count on. He will also vote to make sure that Congress reforms the retirement program.

* Immigration: Huizenga wants a method to enforce laws and document the movement of temporary workers over the border. Huizenga also believes that the US should secure the borders against further immigration.

* Parental Rights and Education: Huizenga is a proponent of a Parental Rights Amendment that would allow parents the freedom to educate their own children without problems from the state arising.

* Asian Carp and Invasive Species: Huizenga believes that ecological separation is the only way to deal with the Asian Carp problem. To do that, he believes that canals should be closed and alternate shipping methods must be created.