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Getting to know the U.S. Senate candidates

November 1, 2018
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, debates her Republican opponent, John James, on Oct. 15. Photo courtesy of the Detroit Economic Club.
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, debates her Republican opponent, John James, on Oct. 15. Photo courtesy of the Detroit Economic Club. —

The major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate are incumbent Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, and Republican John James. Third-party nominees include Marcia Squier of the Green Party, John Howard Wilhelm of the Natural Law Party and George Huffman III of the U.S. Taxpayers Party.

Stabenow is running for her fourth consecutive term as one of Michigan’s senators, while John James, an Army veteran, has business experience in his family’s company, James Group International.

Both candidates have voiced their opinions on many topics, but Michigan’s economy, infrastructure, healthcare and the Second Amendment have been the main focuses. 

According to Stabenow’s website, she believes that in order to continue growing Michigan’s economy, leaders must focus on growing a “diverse Michigan economy that includes manufacturing and technology, small business creation and agriculture, education and career training.” 

She also supports the idea of fair trade — paying foreign countries fair prices for their products that are bought and sold in America, and vice versa. 

James’ plan involves creating a more diverse economy, his website said.

“We need a job creator in the U.S. Senate, someone who has signed the front and back of a paycheck and who understands economic opportunity,” his website reads. “We need to increase entrepreneurship, which allows everyone to achieve the American dream.”

James said his business experience can help Michiganders have equal opportunities to succeed in the business field.

Stabenow has said she strongly supports fixing Michigan’s roads and has fought “for additional investments in Michigan’s roads and bridges, including $97 million to rehabilitate Mound Road” while in the Senate. 

“Debbie knows that reliable and modern infrastructure is vital to Michigan’s economy, job creation and our way of life,” her website reads.

She also co-authored the 2018 Farm Bill, which invests in rural and small-town infrastructure to help Michigan families have access to high-speed internet and clean drinking water.

James pledges to fix Michigan’s infrastructure because “potholes and blighted buildings have no place in Michigan’s future. I will work to ensure an infrastructure package that is more than simply repairing our legacy but building our future.”

Crumbling infrastructure hinders Michigan’s economic growth, James said. 


Stabenow’s healthcare plan is “focused on protecting health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and lowering health care and prescription drug costs for families and small businesses.” 

She also sponsored the Excellence in Mental Health Act, which provides 24-hour services and higher quality standards for mental health care centers. 

James focuses on finding “cost-effective, patient-centered, medical solutions that provide quality health care at low cost.” He favors allowing families to choose how they want to approach their health care.

“Healthcare is very important, and we need to make sure that we empower doctors and patients, not insurance companies and the federal government,” James said in an Oct. 18 interview with Fox News

Editor's note: A previous version of this story referred to John James as a "former Army veteran." This is redundant. The current version removes the word "former."

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