Organized by the Ottawa County Patriots, the forum featured Joe Haveman, Rett DeBoer and Roger Victory, and gave each candidate the opportunity to talk about their platform, answer questions from the public and display campaign literature.
Republican Daniela Garcia, who was not in attendance, is also running for the seat; and Democrats Jeanette Schipper and Libertarian Mary Buzuma have also filed.
The district represents Ottawa County and is currently held by Sen. Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, who is term limited.
DeBoer said she will fight for conservatives in the state and has been endorsed by the NRA and Right to Life, among others. She is pro-life, against recreational marijuana and against sanctuary cities.
“I would like to start out with where God leads, God guides and God provides,” DeBoer said. “That is how I have lived my whole life. God started guiding me in a clear way when I was 4 years old. He has never stopped.”
Joe Haveman, a former state representative and a Holland resident, spoke about the importance of family and how he was taught about the right to life from an early age. He also spoke about his track record of cutting taxes throughout his years in public service, the phasing out of driver responsibility fees and the importance about relearning how to speak between parties.
“It was ingrained into my nature what the value of life is and why Roe v. Wade is such a terrible thing for this country,” Haveman said. “We lived with slavery in this country for about 80 years, we’ve lived with legalized abortion for a little over 40. Let’s hope we don’t wait that long like we did with slavery. There is a window of opportunity there that some of us can see, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
For Roger Victory, the emphasis would be on preserving Ottawa County’s values. That includes fixing the roads and holding MDOT accountable, supporting skilled trades, keeping local control of education, keeping an emphasis on local agriculture and retaining the revenue from local state parks.
“My morale is affected every day when I drive down I-196 between Hudsonville and Zeeland,” Victory said. “That is a morale buster. You know what affects my morale? When I saw M-6 deteriorate from premature condition. That is a morale-buster. ... We need to hold (MDOT) accountable and move forward.”
The event also featured two Republican candidates for Michigan attorney general, Tom Leonard and Tonya Schuitmaker. The position is currently held by Bill Schuette, who is running in the Republican primary for governor.
AG candidates are nominated at political conventions; the Republican nominee will face Democrat Dana Nessel in the general election.
The Michigan primary election is Aug. 7 and the general election is Nov. 6.