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Marleau set to face off for State Senate seat

August 11, 2010 - Democrat Casandra Ulbrich says she's ready to go toe-to-toe with Orion Township resident Jim Marleau in the race to replace term-limited Sen. Mike Bishop in the State Senate 12th District.

"We're going to be campaigning very actively," said Ulbrich, 35, of Rochester. "We've got a good team in place, we've got great volunteers and we're going to be knocking on doors and making phone calls and sending out literature and doing everything we need to do. We're very serious. We're going to blanket the district."

Both Marleau, 63, and Ulbrich said they'll essentially focus their respective campaigns on the same issues they tackled leading up to the Aug. 3 primary.

For Marleau, who served two terms as Orion Township treasurer before he was elected to the State House of Representatives, it's jobs, roads and schools.

"Jobs are the most important thing," Marleau said, noting he and his team were out knocking on an average of 400 doors nearly every day leading up the primary, and found a great many people at home, unemployed.

"You understand the numbers, but until you're out there walking the neighborhoods it doesn't really hit home," Marleau said. "It was heartwarming to talk to so many people, but I'm very concerned. We need to be working toward jobs."

But, he said, his other issues -roads and schools - are intertwined with the jobs issue.

'If we want to bring in jobs, we can't have roads deteriorating," he said, noting Oakland County roads "literally need all the help the can get."

"And we have to have top-notch schools that a company's employees will want to put their children in."

Eliminating Michigan's business tax, Marleau said, is crucial to getting the state turned around.

"The business tax is our job killer," he said. "Businesses continue to leave the state and we've already been told we've lost a million jobs in 10 years. We have to get those jobs back."

The only way to regain what's been lost, he said, is to make it profitable for businesses to operate in Michigan.

In addition to his own campaigning, Marleau also said he'll be out pounding the pavement to help seat fellow Republicans and create a "better connection to Washington."

Marleau, who said he's "never run a negative campaign," declined comment on a long chain of widely-distributed emails that attacked his record in the State House of Representatives.

Ulbrich said employment for Michigan at the top of her list of priorities, as well.

"The most important thing we need to look at is job creation and how we diversify the economy," she said. "One of the big issues is changing our spending priorities in state so we're focusing on things that will create jobs in the future."

Higher education, she said, is pivotal.

"We have an opportunity in our system for really creating jobs based on research and technology development taking place in our institutions of higher education," she said, noting work at Wayne State University, where she's employed as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, demonstrates the idea in a very tangible way.

Entrepreneur training, for example. Real jobs created by all the spin.

"That's the type of thing this state needs to do," Ulbrich said. "I think we've got a great chance of winning the seat. It's a good to see people who are taking the time to get engaged and decide who it is that really exemplified their values the most."

Lake Orion Review Editor
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