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GOP chairwoman stops in Marquette

MARQUETTE — Sunday marked exactly one year out from the 2020 presidential election.

To gear up for the next campaign, Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox traveled around northern Michigan to prepare activists. Her tour included stops in Saginaw, Gaylord, Escanaba, Marquette and Alpena.

Preparing activists with the skills and tools to be effective while campaigning is imperative to the re-election of President Donald Trump in 2020, Cox said, especially in the battleground state of Michigan.

With 22 people in place across the state and an additional 2,200 trained volunteers ready to hit the ground, Cox said the party is about eight months ahead of schedule in the campaign race.

Topics at the forefront of the next campaign for the Republican Party will be Trump’s successes so far throughout his presidency, she said, such as veterans’ policies, tax reform, the economy and low unemployment for women and minorities.

“Those kinds of things he’s doing to keep families together or whatever’s important to somebody, those are the kinds of things you can point to, his successes, and get people to the polls in 2020,” Cox said.

Trump’s re-election is her main priority, as well as keeping Republican incumbents in office. Ensuring the vote for the presidency helps lift party candidates down the ballot, she said.

“We want to make sure that we keep, like, Congressman (Jack) Bergman … in place. He’s been a great legislative leader in D.C. He’s worked really hard for the Soo Locks funding in D.C. as well as working on the Great Lakes (Restoration) Initiative,” Cox said. “The Republican delegation across the state has been great leaders, and we’re really excited and proud to have them in D.C. and we want to make sure we return our incumbents.”

Cox feels there are many actions that should be taken by those delegates, but they’re being put off due to impeachment efforts surrounding Trump. As she and her team have traveled the state, she said they’ve been hearing citizens aren’t happy with the inquiry.

“Families are frustrated because they expect things to be done in D.C. and they don’t support impeachment,” Cox said. “They want them to do work that does something for the state.”

Another concern of Michigan residents, she said, is the 2020 state budget and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s vetoing of nearly $1 billion.

Cox said this loss of funding affects the roads, residents’ jobs and more. She noted Whitmer’s push for higher fuel taxes as an item that would greatly affect Michigan residents, especially in the Upper Peninsula.

“Your groceries would be much more expensive, anything that you have, anything that has traveled up across the state, for you all especially, would be much more expensive,” she said. “And in rural areas we know that people drive more to get to work, to go to the store, to visit family because everything’s a little bit more spread out. That would be a very big hit to families across the state of Michigan, so as Republicans we’re really pushing hard against that to find different ways to fund roads, and the governor didn’t like it so she cut it.”

Cox feels Whitmer needs to take responsibility for her changes to the budget for the state to move forward.

“She’s constantly fighting on things that I think are necessary. For instance, Line 5; we were really excited that the court supported the legislation — that I voted on by the way — that basically wanted to ensure that there are jobs up in the U.P. so you guys have gas, so people’s families can be warm in the winter — those kinds of things she wants to fight against,” Cox said. “She’s being an obstructionist instead of trying to move forward and work with what’s been presented.”

The Legislature must act as a check and balance on such policies and legislators in the House and Senate have been united in this role while standing as a voice for Michigan residents, she said.

Going to the polls are the best way to make sure your voice and the opinions of your chosen candidates are heard. Participating in local elections creates change in your community — whether it’s for garbage collection, millages or school boards — while participating in the presidential election helps steer the direction of the country, Cox said.

“When we’re talking about 2020, of course because I am the Republican Party chair, I feel that you’re talking about socialist ideas, socialist beliefs that are very much going to change the direction of our country,” Cox said. “I talk to people about looking at the track record of success that the president has delivered to families all across the country, how people’s lives are better because of what he’s done, what he’s pushed for, what he’s worked with, those kinds of things mean something and that’s why people need to get out and vote.”

Trinity Carey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is tcarey@miningjournal.net.