Michigan Legislative Senate candidates at a glance, democratic candidate answers questions

Rick Outman and Mark Bignell.

In the race for Michigan's 33rd District state senate seat is democrat Mark Bignell and republican Rick Outman. 

Outman’s political experience includes serving three terms as the State House representative for the 70th District from 2011 to 2016. Outman, of Six Lakes, is endorsed by Emmons, County Road Association of Michigan, AgriPac, Congressman John Moolenaar and Right to Life Michigan. According to the "Rick Outman for State Senate" Facebook page, Outman is a proud conservative, small business owner, farmer, husband, father and is pro-life and pro-Second Amendment. 

Bignell earned an associate’s degree in accounting from Montcalm Community College before transferring to Grand Valley State University. He then attended West Michigan CDL for training in logistics.

On Nov. 6, registered Michigan voters will have the chance to vote for one of these candidates. 

Central Michigan Life reached out to Outman and Bignell to see where they stand on the issues, however Outman did not respond. The following answers are from Bignell.

CM Life: What would be your biggest goal as state senator? 

Bignell: My biggest goal would be to honor the tenets of my “Candidates With A Contract” contract with the people of the 33rd State Senate District and also enact the: State Tax Full Disclosure Act (requires a statement be provided to taxpayers at point of filing, breaking down how state taxes are spent by the state). 

These nonpartisan reforms to state government would promote exponentially greater transparency & accountability, while making the legislature more responsive to the people. 

These contractual tenets include: public campaign financing reform, campaign finance reform, a seven-year employment ban for firms that employ lobbyists, ending partisan gerrymandering (Independent Redistricting Commission, like Proposal 2), making the legislature accountable for their work hours performed (increasing work week to 40 hours and limiting vacation time) and tying Michigan legislature salaries to a fixed percentage over state median income. 

If elected, how would approach the issue of state funding for higher education? 

I would prioritize legislation which transforms school funding formulas into needs based formulas. In addition, I support reforming Michigan’s school system, by bringing the teachers, administrators, and professionals to Lansing to lead the discussion on how the state can best solve the greatest challenges we have in education. 

What is your position on gun control, and/or the right of American citizens to own firearms for self-defense and personal use? 

I stand with the law abiding, whom are avid responsible gun owners, hunters, sportsman; as well as the children and everyone whom are at risk when the wrong people are in possession. 

I firmly believe that this one issue has unjustly become a fire branded, divisive, conflation, which sends all parties to their respective corners to shout back platitudes to each other, over each other.

My position is one where each law should be evaluated, reformed and protected as necessary. 

I believe we as a state should be collecting data on violent crimes, mental health, and the effectiveness of our existing laws in order to best determine if and what best actions our state should take.

When I’m elected, I will promote this mindset in Lansing and will strive to spur comprehensive solutions, while protecting the security and rights of the people.