Republican Allan Arcand shares the same political party and hometown as Michigan's 1st District Representative Dan Benishek, but in terms of political views there are differences. It is those differences that prompted Arcand to run against Benishek in August's primary election.
Arcand visited the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Library in Alpena Wednesday to talk about his background, where he stands politically and what he hopes to accomplish if he survives the primary and general election in November.
Arcand is hoping to ride a wave of tea party success which showed when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated in the Virginia primary by Tea Party darling David Brat. Tuesday the Tea Party wasn't as successful, as the incumbents held off its challenge, but still the vote numbers were solid and Arcand believes a victory Benishek could be had with the increasing support for the Tea Party's platform.
"Eric Cantor was slaughtered by Brat and it proves that if that can happen in Virginia it can happen in Michigan too," Arcand said. "Look how close it was in Missouri last night. The incumbent had to pull out the big guns to do it."
Growing up in Iron River and joining the Air Force, Arcand said he made a pledge to protect the country, not just on the battlefield, but also at home. He said like many others he is not pleased with how business is being conducted in Washington D.C. and as a result decided to make an effort to serve his country again, but in a different manner.
"I took an oath to support and defend the constitution and right now people aren't defending it the way they should. There are people trampling on it and voting away our rights," Arcand said. "I have three boys and the way I see it is our children aren't going to get anything and it is our duty to stand up and fight for the next generation. People just aren't doing it. They complain a lot about it, but the only way to get that type of change is to get involved. I'm ready to do my part and get involved. I'm not going to sit on the sideline."
Arcand admitted the country is fractured into two parts from the highest level in Washington, to debates among friends regarding political views. He said the one thing everyone seems to share is a love for America and because of that connection, may be able to find common ground moving forward.
"There is the divisions of the parties and there are the divisions of divisions of the parties, but everyone still have that belief in America," Arcand said. "Many still believe in the constitution, they still believe in the Bill of Rights and the founding principals of the country. They just need people to lead them. They don't want to continue to give up their liberties and don't want to tolerate it anymore."
The primary election is August 5.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com.