To the Journal editor:
As I settle back in retirement, I look back fondly on my time in the legislature working on behalf of the Upper Peninsula.
After I finished my last term on Jan. 1, 2002, I continued to work in Lansing, first as a consultant and then as the director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture.
Although I have now retired to my wife's family's centennial farm in lorthern Lower Michigan, I continue to watch what is happening with U.P. politics.
As you consider your candidates for the 109th District state representative, I'd like to tell you a few things I know about John Kivela. In the early 1990s, I had the pleasure of getting to know John Kivela as he helped me with my senate campaigns.
He is honest, approachable and very well informed on the issues. He will be the type of representative who will follow through with action and not just words.
He has the ability to stand up for his district and not just cave to the political pressures in Lansing. Many people, myself included, wonder why elected officials can't genuinely work together and come up with fair solutions, regardless of their party. John Kivela really does have the ability.
John is not taking PAC money. Most candidates do and refusing it leaves him without this stream of financing for his campaign. I respect this choice. It allows him to be independent of special interest groups and more responsive to his constituents.
Candidates like John Kivela do not come forward every election cycle. Voters in the 109th are lucky to have him as a choice this year. I feel that John will make us proud in Lansing and that as his career carries on, his work will be admired across the state.