Michigan Gubernatorial elections are often treated as Division II college football, meaning – it simply fails to ‘invade’ our Facebook updates, Tweeter feeds, and social media gossip threads. We don’t see political pundits creating election hysteria on news networks either.
But in reality, this election influences our household decisions more than presidential elections do. Our governor in the Romney Building has always had more impact on our regional development, K-12 education, health, safety, and our entrepreneurial fate more than any other public office. Therefore, this not-so-romantic election has a lot more to offer than many believe otherwise. It matters.
Today polls are open from 7 am until 8 pm to elect Michigan’s 49th Governor. Mark Schauer – a Democratic candidate with a traditional career in politics is up against Rick Snyder – an incumbent whose brief, yet innovative, political career is a reflection of his shrewd entrepreneurial instincts.
As far as Michigan’s startup community and small-business support structure is concerned, both are making similar promises in their policy solutions. Mark Schauer on his campaign website has vowed to promote a culture of innovation by creating an “Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship” to provide support to promising start-ups. He also intends to eliminate barriers to entry for entrepreneurs by creating more opportunities such as capital lending programs and tax breaks with “claw-back provisions”.
Rick Snyder, who is also an experienced venture capitalist, has successfully won the backing of the state’s overall business community by repealing ‘Michigan Business Tax’ (MBT) and ‘Single Business Tax’ (SBT), which haunted our business climate for decades. Replaced was this new 6 percent ‘Corporate Income Tax’ on federal taxable income and is “generally imposed only on C corporations”. Many bipartisan pundits have also been crediting Governor Snyder for reducing unnecessary bureaucratic regulations and bringing much wanted simplicity within our tax structure. Even his highly unpopular “pension tax” is widely acknowledged by younger Michiganders who seek some contribution from its older generation in “reinventing Michigan”.
Mind you – both are extremely wonderful personalities, who want to see Michigan succeed and thrive, but are from different schools of thought. Unlike what daily negative attack ads may suggest, both candidates offer honest solutions. Sadly, one has to deliver a concession speech later tonight. Which candidate that is, however, is up to you. Make sure you go and vote. It matters.
To find your local polling place, look here:https://vote.michigan.gov/mvic/
For more information about the gubernatorial (and other!) candidates, check out MLive’s Voter Guide.
Photo: Detroit Free Press