People running for office for the first time often face a paradox. Voters often want a new face, but they still expect the newcomer to have some track record of public service, of having contributed to something bigger than their own personal interests.
Chuck Fellows, the Democratic candidate for the 22nd state Senate seat, fills the bill. The long-time Green Oak Township resident is making his first run for elected office. But he has a long record of public service and volunteer work in the community. He has served on homeowners associations, the Green Oak Township Board of Review, the Green Oak Planning Commission, and Michigan Department of Community Health board. He has worked on behalf of millage campaigns for Green Oak's police department and served as their Friends Committee Treasurer for 15 years and served on planning committees for the Brighton and Salem-South Lyon District Libraries.
Fellows is in his second term as an appointee to the Green Oak Charter Township Planning Commission and is an appointed Public Member to the Michigan Department of Community Health Boards.
Now he is setting his sights higher.
"I am running to bring common sense policies to state government that will improve our schools, jump start our economy, and make sure government listens to the people," said Fellows. Common sense, effectiveness, balance and responsiveness are guiding principles.
Fellows worked for the Ford Motor Co. for more than 30 years, moving from the plant floor to the corporate staff. After retiring in 2000, Fellows began substitute teaching in the South Lyon Community Schools and then accepted a position with their alternative high school program teaching academic and life skills to adults and adolescents.
Fellows is seeking the seat now held by Republican Valde Garcia, who is term-limited and cannot seek re-election. The seat includes all of Livingston and Shiawassee counties, and four townships in southern Ingham County. He is unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
Republican Joe Hune, who already has served six years in the Michigan House, and Paul Rogers, former mayor of Howell, are fighting each other for the Republican nomination.