A BBC NEWS CREW was in Shiawassee County on Tuesday morning, Jan. 15 to interview constituents on the current national political climate and how it relates to industry and the overall economy – and how it all might play into the 2020 election. Shiawassee County has collectively voted for 13 out of 14 previous presidents, minus being incorrect about Gerald R. Ford in 1976 when he lost to Jimmy Carter. This statistic makes the county a bellwether county, or an indicator county, in Michigan.

   Shown at Fosters Coffee in Owosso during the filming process of one such interview are (at the table) Marsha Lyttle of Owosso, Gordon Caverly of Mid-State Consultants in Swartz Creek and BBC Business Correspondent Michelle Fleury. Behind the camera is Andrew Hebert. BBC producer Zoe Thomas was on hand, along with SEDP President/CEO Justin Horvath.

   The BBC had initially contacted Horvath, who then set up an interview with Bryan Marks, owner of Great Lakes Fusion in Vernon Twp. That interview was planned to happen after the Foster Coffee visit. Horvath had decided on Marks because of his entrepreneurial skills and involvement with area industry.

   Horvath shared that he was feeling positive about the local economy and recognized that the BBC crew was in Shiawassee County to “take the temperature of the progress.” Horvath also expressed that employment is now at an 18 year low, but that Shiawassee County needs to continue to refocus on bringing up a new generation of talent, encouraging skilled trades, and removing some of the barriers in place that make it difficult of those who have been “left behind,” due to whatever personal struggles.

   Horvath believes that “regardless of the politics going on in Washington, that at the end of the day, most people make their choice based on economics.” His thinking is that, if the economy is good, voters will generally support the president already in office.

   Horvath also stated that he thinks that it is business confidence that is likely the most significant factor leading to the creation of new jobs, and also suggested “tariffs, in general, are just bad,” reflecting on what happened with trade in China, because tariffs ultimately hurt exports, as well.

   The BBC crew was also in Michigan working on a segment on the Detroit Auto Show. The Shiawassee County segment was slated to air internationally on Friday, Jan. 18.

    Producer Zoe Thomas shared that BBC News was interested to see what the “heartland” is thinking after two years into the current presidency. She appeared intrigued by the diversity of viewpoints expressed.

   On a different side note, Owosso Middle School students have accurately guessed the outcome in at least the previous three presidential elections, as well.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

BBC News crew was last modified: January 21st, 2019 by Karen Elford