A Democratic candidate for the 8th Congressional District believes it is his stance on policies that sets him apart from the competition, whether Democrat or Republican.

Chris Smith of East Lansing is one of two Democratic candidates seeking the nomination to run against Republican-incumbent Mike Bishop for his seat in Congress this fall. The other is Elissa Slotkin of Holly. With a doctorate in political science, Smith has spent nearly a quarter of a century teaching public policy and law at Michigan State University. He has written over 45 books on the subject, some of them used as textbooks in other schools across the country. Smith, labeled by many as a progressive, believes it is his position on several key topics that makes him the right choice for the district’s future.

Smith said he thinks many of the ideals he holds resonates with not only Democrats, but also independents and even some Republicans. He has taken a firm stand on no pipeline activity under the Great Lakes and calls for a complete ban on the sale of assault rifles to the public. Smith said if elected, one of the first things he’ll look toward correcting is the amount of money being spent on the criminal justice system, and how that money is being spent. With the opioid crisis reaching the middle class, Smith said more people are opening up to it being a public health problem. More effort, he believes, needs to be going in to treating and helping people, rather than just locking them up. Smith also believes in pursuing single payer universal health care. He said the goal needs to be Medicare-for-all, and if that isn’t the goal, we’ll never work towards it.

Smith will be at the next meeting of the Livingston County Democrats, where he has been invited to speak. That meeting is next Thursday, at 7pm, at the RE/Max Auditorium in Genoa Township. You can also hear more about Smith and his candidacy on WHMI’s Viewpoint, this Sunday at 8:30am. (MK)