Election 2022: Republican Primary for Michigan State Senator

Readers will note that our 2022 primary election coverage only includes Republican races. This should not be interpreted as partisanship on the part of Lowell’s First Look, but rather, it reflects the fact that only the Republican primary races are contested. All Democratic candidates in Lowell-area districts are running unopposed.

The questions below were selected to provide you with a broad overview of a candidate’s political philosophy and priorities. We could not possibly cover all the topics and issues that are of interest to voters. Instead, we hope these questions will provide you a base for evaluating your choices, and we encourage you to visit candidate websites and social media pages to learn more about each person.

Michigan State Senator — District 18

The core Lowell area — City of Lowell, Lowell Charter Township and Vergennes Township — falls within the new 18th District of the Michigan State Senate.

Two candidates are vying for the Republican nomination in the 18th District. The winner will face Democratic candidate Kai De Graaf in November’s general election.

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order, by last name. Responses have not been edited and are published exactly as provided by each candidate.

Thomas Albert

Campaign address: Lowell
Website: http://www.votealbert.com/
Social media: Facebook

Ryan Mancinelli

Campaign address: Alto
Website: https://voteforspeed.com/
Social media: NA
*Multiple emails were send to the address listed with the Ionia County Clerk’s office, but we did not receive a response. No further contact information was found on the candidate’s website.

Why are you running to be a state senator?

Albert: I am running for the Michigan State Senate because I love my community and it would be an honor to be their voice in Lansing. I have been a member of the Michigan House for the last 6 years and I have been a strong advocate for my community. I am confident I can carry this on successfully in the Senate.

Mancinelli: Candidate did not respond to questionnaire.

What do you see as the three biggest issues facing Michigan, and what specific policy or initiative would you champion to address each one?

Albert: The biggest issues facing Michigan today are inflation, workforce shortages and government debt. The best way to help Michigan families struggling to keep up with skyrocketing inflation is to offer tax relief, and I have voted in support of substantial tax relief which the governor unfortunately vetoed. To address workforce shortages, I have supported funding for skilled workforce training and recruitment and retention initiatives for key industries like public safety, education and healthcare. Last, the biggest long-term challenge we face is runaway debt at the state level. In this last budget, I was able to secure $2.6 billion for debt reduction. I have been a champion of numerous reforms to better plan to pay off our debt, so we are not simply passing it on for our kids to pay the bill.

Mancinelli: Candidate did not respond to questionnaire.

If elected, what issues important to Lowell do you foresee being able to address at the state level?

Albert: The most important issue that I foresee being able to address at the state level is tax relief. Families are seeing an inflation tax, caused by massive federal spending, now fully manifesting. This will either end by the Fed sharply raising interest rates to cool the economy or the economic bubble bursting. To help soften the impact on family budgets, it is critical that we lower the tax burden at the state level.

Mancinelli: Candidate did not respond to questionnaire.

As a Republican candidate, what do you think should be the role of former president Donald Trump in the Republican Party today?

Albert: Former President Trump is clearly still influential in the Republican Party. He did a lot of good as president and we were clearly better off 18 months ago. While Former President Trump is far from perfect, he earned the right to choose to stay relevant in politics just as other former presidents have.

Mancinelli: Candidate did not respond to questionnaire.

Why should people vote for you?

Albert: I have worked tirelessly for the people who elected me to serve in the Michigan House. I hope that I have demonstrated that I will always put my constituents’ best interest first and I will continue being an effective leader in Lansing. It would be an honor for the constituents of the 18th Senate District to choose me to be their next voice in Lansing.

Mancinelli: Candidate did not respond to questionnaire.

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