VanSingel challenged by Sebolt for state rep.

July 29, 2020

VanSingel challenged by Sebolt for state rep.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

State Representative of the 100th District Scott VanSingel (R-Grant) is being challenged by Andrew Sebolt (R-Hart) in the primary election Aug. 4.

The 100th District includes Oceana, Lake and Newaygo counties.

OCP sent the candidates questionnaires seeking biographical information, and the following information was provided by each candidate:

Rep. Scott VanSingel

Scott VanSingel, 40, has one daughter, Sophia, 9.

He was first elected in November 2016 to the Michigan House to represent the 100th District.

VanSingel serves on the Appropriations Committee and is the chairman of the Higher Education and Community Colleges Appropriations subcommittee. VanSingel also serves on the Corrections, Natural Resources and Environmental Quality, and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Appropriations subcommittees.

He is a graduate of Grant High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University with majors in finance and accounting. In 2011, he earned his master’s in business from Cornerstone University.

VanSingel has worked in public accounting for a CPA firm. He later went on to work as a financial analyst for Dematic in Grand Rapids. During this time, he started a rental real estate company.

He has served as a deacon for several years at Grant Reformed Church, treasurer of the Newaygo County Republican Party, member and volunteer for various conservation groups, scholarship committee volunteer, and participant in numerous mission trips to Central America. VanSingel has also served as treasurer of numerous organizations and is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.

What is the single most important issue facing our district and what do you plan to do to address it?

Fixing the economic mess that the COVID shutdown has created is the highest priority both for my district and the entire state. We have entire industries that are on the verge of collapse. I’ve been working with our Congressmen advocating that any additional federal aid is targeted to small businesses who were disproportionately impacted. In addition, finding a way to close the $3 billion projected budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year without harmful cuts to essential services such as public education, roads, police and corrections. This will be through a combination of cuts in other areas and potentially another round of federal assistance.

What is the greatest impact that COVID-19 has had on our district and what do you plan to do to address it?

Andy Sebolt

Similar to the last question, the COVID crisis has threatened entire industries, specifically small businesses like restaurants. I’m working with our partners at the federal level to direct any potential aid packages toward these industries and have passed supplemental appropriation bills which have provided some relief in the short term.

Andrew Sebolt, 38, and wife Jennifer have one daughter, Isabel.

He serves as manager for Major Produce Greenhouses & Nursery. Sebolt serves as the Oceana County Commissioner for District 4 — a position he has held since 2015.

Sebolt, who is a Hart High School Class of 2000 graduate, has a bachelor’s of science in business administration from Ferris State University and an associate of science in marketing/management from West Shore Community College.

Sebolt is certified as a 44E10 machinist and combat life saver with the Michigan Army National Guard.

He attends Walkerville Wesleyan Church and is a member of the National Rifle Associaiton and the American Legion. Sebolt is chairman of the Oceana County Republicans.

What is the single most important issue facing our district and what do you plan to do to address it?

The recovery of the economy. Government exists to secure the rights of the people. As this relates to the economy, government must foster freedom of access to transact business: in our area, that largely means agriculture, tourism, light manufacturing, and retail. But in order for these businesses to contribute to the economy, employees must be allowed to work and customers allowed to engage in commerce. We must seriously address what role government plays in either stifling or accelerating the economy and business, and ask: is it time to temporarily reduce regulation in all sectors so business has more breathing room to regrow, so people can produce and thereby earn a paycheck? Freedom encourages economic growth: lack of freedom, as we have seen, deteriorates it. At some point the well runs dry.

What is the greatest impact that COVID-19 has had on our district and what do you plan to do to address it?

This impacts two spheres equally: economic and social.

Economic: We must address what issues have occurred so that a shutdown never happens again due to a pandemic. Government had no plan on how to address this and all their actions were reactionary. The denying of the right to conduct business or work has been the single largest factor in the deterioration of the economy. It has been unprecedented. Those who want to work have a right to work: government has no role in this.

Social: it has divided much of society by pitting those compliant with haphazard executive orders against those who choose freedom in business, religion, and visiting family and friends. It also placed our police officers into an unnecessary position of being the arbiters of bad policy. It divided people against people, friends against friends, and family against family. To resolve this, we need to understand the constitutionally guaranteed rights of all citizens and that government officials are there to secure those rights, not choose which ones they have and when they might enjoy them.

I am running because I believe in action, not words.

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