From the Trail: A Night at Northwood


In case you missed it, last night was the candidate panel at Northwood University (you can find it on their sports streaming page and on my Facebook page - which you should consider following if you aren't already). It was the only opportunity the citizens of this area will get to hear from all of their candidates before the primary on August 2nd.


I get why it's easy to brush something like this off. It is a panel focused on state level elections, being held at a small (yet prestigious) business school in the middle of Michigan. Oh, and it's 90 degrees outside so a lot of us warm blooded Michiganders would probably rather stay inside their own house with the air on - lord knows I wanted to. But events like the one last night help give insight and help viewers learn more about the candidates fighting to represent them in Lansing.


For me, it's a chance to give a contrast between myself and some of my competition. I thought it was a chance to show how dedicated I am to this race. Not because I have an ego, or want power, or because I view this as a stepping stone to something else. But rather because I truly do love my hometown and the area I grew up in, and I want to help ensure that everyone in this state gets the same opportunity, regardless of where they are born or happen to live.


I also think political party affiliation should be secondary to who the candidate is. I could have just as easily registered as a Republican and run largely the same campaign (lower taxes on working class families, responsible spending of tax dollars, putting money into infrastructure and education, etc.). It isn't about which party you "belong" to, because in all honesty I think it's a ridiculous concept to be married to one party with the expectation that you will never vote for the other. It's about who you believe will fight for you. Who you believe actually cares and can relate to the everyday struggles of working class life. Who you think wants what is best not just for you, but your children and their children. And after last night, I feel as if there should be no doubt as to which candidate in the 95th race that is.


I don't want to sound egotistical. But up there I heard from others, who I have varying levels of respect and appreciation for, who said things that I either felt were correct but disingenuous, or who flat out misdirected people on what they stand for. I heard from others who brought up national talking points ("Biden Inflation," anyone?) that they will have little to do with fixing or is something they are merely using as a political talking point and not to actually address real problems facing the people of this region. Or, you know, something that they'd probably make worse via more tax breaks for their rich donor friends.


We are less than two weeks (!!!) from the primary. I know, and I understand, that several are going to vote in the GOP primary in support of Ann Manary, someone I have the utmost respect and admiration for as a public servant. That said, I really hope it isn't lost on people that we could end up with two anti-abortion candidates if Billy Schuette and Larry Grell win. I like Larry Grell, and respect his dedication to Billings Township and his union ties. But his lack of vocal support on the issue of choice concerns me, as does his lack of messaging that is publicly accessible. So I urge anyone on the fence to please consider casting a ballot for me on August 2nd to ensure we have at least one candidate dedicated to protecting the civil liberties of this community.


As for other updates to the campaign, we will have to re-shoot our entire ad as the previous footage was unfortunately lost in a fire a couple weeks ago but just discovered this week when we went to edit the footage. I apologize for the delays. Unfortunately I've been sick and unable to get anything done this week besides preparing for the Northwood panel. That sounds like a lot of excuses but I promise these will get done as soon as I can manage and I will keep you updated.


If you want a t-shirt or a yard sign, please message me on Facebook (Matt for Michigan) and let me know. I am waiting on the printer to get back to me to place an order, but it has not gone through yet so there is still time to get requests in. The printers are backed up for primary season and will get back to me as soon as they can. In the mean time, I appreciate any and all donations people can afford @ www.ActBlue.com/donate/mattformi. As always, I have to emphasize that this is a grassroots movement that is slowly growing more day to day. I left the event last night on cloud nine, but not because of my performance. It was getting to speak with all of you after the panel and getting to introduce myself. Forgive me if its redundant to introduce myself to people when I meet them, but I don't think I'll ever reach the point where I don't start out by saying "Hi, I'm Matt!"


I cannot express the admiration and appreciation I have for all the engaged voters in the community, and I look forward to meeting more of you as this campaign moves forward. Whatever happens on August 2nd, I am committed to fighting for this community however I can. Thank you all, and I can't wait to get back out there and meet more of you!



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