Making a choice in August

CHALLENGER: James Higgs talks with his wife, Rebecca during Senior Enrichment Day at Big Rapids High School on Wednesday. Higgs is running against incumbent Rep. Phil Potivn, R-Cadillac in the August Primary for the Republican nomination in the November general election. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

CHALLENGER: James Higgs talks with his wife, Rebecca during Senior Enrichment Day at Big Rapids High School on Wednesday. Higgs is running against incumbent Rep. Phil Potivn, R-Cadillac in the August Primary for the Republican nomination in the November general election. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

Barryton Republican believes he can bring common sense to Lansing

BIG RAPIDS — In August, Republican voters in Michigan’s 102nd District will have to decide who they want to represent their party’s ticket in November.

James Higgs, of Barryton, wants to be the chosen candidate. Higgs will face off against incumbent Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Higgs disagrees with Potvin’s approach in Lansing.

“I think my opponent is a good guy,” Higgs said. “I don’t think he is an idea guy and a guy who goes to Lansing to be a game changer.”

Higgs believes his background can bring a fresh approach in Lansing. He was born in Mason and while he was young his family moved to Puerto Rico as missionaries. After his father’s health began to fail, the family moved to Atlanta where Higgs attended high school in the inner city.

He returned to Michigan to attend Great Lakes Christian College in Lansing where he earned a bachelor’s degree in ministry. While attending college he met and married his wife, Rebecca, who he says is the love of his life. The couple live in Barryton, where they are raising their three children, Jasmine, 12, Chole, 9, and David, 7.

Higgs attended Cooley Law School in Lansing and earned his law degree. He has a private practice representing families, the elderly and rural farmers.

“My primary focus is helping our aging population,” Higgs said. “I help families figure out elder care and estate planning along with probate law practice.”

Higgs’ primary reason for getting into politics is his belief that Michigan is off track on spending and budgeting priorities.

“We are collecting around $50 billion in revenue as a state and yet there always appears to be a crisis when we don’t have enough funds for the issues that matter most,” Higgs said. “We need safe roads. Why can’t we as a state say the safety of our people is important enough to put roads as top priority?”

Besides roads, he feels children and families should be a priority along with public safety.

“The state has a primary obligation of providing for the safety and infrastructure in our communities,” Higgs said. “The budget again passed with no money for roads. Our firefighters, police, road commissions and municipalities are constantly fighting for funding from the state. Instead of continuing to cut funding for them, prioritize. It is a common sense approach to put them first. I don’t think we constantly have to be asking for more money and raising taxes on our citizens.”

Higgs believes having compassion and common sense is part of conservative values and with him in lansing he can address the issues facing residents in the 102nd District.

“There are common sense things that can happen,” Higgs said. “I think you vote for me because I’m that nerdy, smart kid in the head of the class that is ambitious and wants to get things done. I think Phil is a good guy, but he is there to go along and get along. I think everybody understands our roads and public education problems need to be handled now. They have not been handled over the last four years since Phil has been in Lansing.”

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Posted by Lonnie Allen

Lonnie is the Pioneer's city/county reporter. He also coordinates the Gardens and Growers page. He can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8328 or by e-mail at lallen@pioneergroup.com.

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