U.S. REP. ELISSA SLOTKIN (D) visited with Shiawassee County constituents on Sunday, Feb. 6 at DeVries Nature Conservancy. Shown are (from left) attorney/national PFAS advocate Anthony Spaniola, former state Rep. Bus Spaniola, former state House Minority Leader/candidate for state Sen. Sam Singh (D), Elissa Slotkin and candidate for house Rep. Mark Zacharda (D). Slotkin, a moderate, is running in the new congressional District 7. Zacharda will be running in the new Michigan 71st District House. Singh is running in Michigan Senate District 23.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
Elissa Slotkin kicked off her re-election campaign for new U.S. House District 7, which included stops in Shiawassee County on Sunday, Feb. 6. Slotkin met with constituents Sunday morning at DeVries Nature Conservancy, north of Owosso, before knocking on doors to greet county residents.
Slotkin, who was sworn in for a second term representing Michigan’s 8th congressional district in January, will now be vying with state Sen. Tom Barrett (R) for the new district 7 following state redistricting. District 7 will include most of Eaton, Ingham, Livingston, Clinton, Shiawassee and a portion of Genesee and Oakland counties.
Slotkin, 45, is familiar with service. She was recruited into the CIA, serving three tours in Iraq as a CIA analyst. Under George W. Bush, she worked for the National Security Council and under Barack Obama, she worked for the Department of Defense as acting secretary of defense for international security affairs. Her husband, Dave Moore, is a career U.S. Army Colonel and former Apache helicopter pilot, amongst other credentials.
Her launch into service, having grown up in Michigan with a non-politically involved family, was inspired by being in New York City during 9-11 and feeling driven toward a career in national security. Within a year, she was recruited by the CIA to become a Middle East CIA analyst. Following training at Langley as a CIA officer, Slotkin was sent on her first Middle East tour, becoming a Middle East militia and terrorist expert.
In between her three tours, Slotkin shared she was working “very proudly” for whomever was her commander-in-chief. “I was a civil servant,” she said. “And I believed wholeheartedly my mission was to support my commander-in-chief, whomever they were. To be honest, I was completely apolitical and if you’re a civil servant, there are literally laws that guide how you can’t be political in the workplace.”
“Before 2017, I had never been to a political event. I had never been to a fundraiser for almost any cause,” Slotkin stated. “What changed for me was the tenor and tone of the campaign in 2016, that presidential campaign. And I think for a lot of us, if you grow up in Michigan, you grew up with Democrats and Republicans kind of like ribbing each other, but not as a source of family strife. My dad, a lifelong Republican. My mom, before she passed, a lifelong Democrat. We were more likely to argue vociferously over Michigan v. Michigan State then we were to argue angrily over politics.” Slotkin wants to believe Michigan is still a state most likely to vote for a person over a party. “There is no living together without getting along with people that have different political view than you,” she expressed.
Slotkin wants to encourage bipartisan communication in her campaign run, sharing she does not want to treat anyone – from any party – as an enemy.
“That rhetoric in 2016 just sort of shocked me,” she explained. “Especially since I had worked for both Republicans and Democrats.”
Slotkin continued with a discussion on economic security and how it affects rural communities such as Shiawassee County, particularly prescription drug price gauging and also the tax write-offs pharmaceutical companies are permitted for running television commercials.
“So, one of the first bills I passed and I’m very proud to say I worked very hard and passed it by Donald Trump, he signed it, was a prescription drug pricing and comparison shopping rule.” The bill Slotkin passed under Trump will begin in 2023, forcing doctors offices to supply a print to patients of comparative pricing from various local pharmacies when writing prescriptions – ensuring fair price competition on prescriptions.
Some other issues Slotkin wants to deal with include allowing Medicare to negotiate drug pricing. Currently, Medicare is prohibited from negotiating drug prices – meaning that Medicare is regularly being charged far more than the average consumer for certain medications. Slotkin is also passionate about seeing certain critical items return to being made in the U.S. including public health equipment and microchips. She expressed her enthusiasm for the recent announcement by GM to invest $7 billion in two Michigan manufacturing facilities. State Rep. Ben Frederick (R) helped pave the way for those two projects with his work to create a new economic development fund – bringing new jobs to the state.
“It is still important to make things in the United States,” Slotkin said. “We need a policy that recognizes that economic security is national security … Know this as Michiganders, that we have outsourced our supply chain too far and the chickens came home to roost during COVID. But now the whole rest of the country knows and we need policy, not just a wish, but policy, good legislation to actually incentivize making things in America long term.”