Peters: Why I stand with Debbie Stabenow

Gary Peters
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow answers a question during the debate Monday at the Detroit Economic Club.

Editor's note: The Detroit News is making recommendations in a number of state and local races on the Nov. 6 election ballot. To maximize our resources and give our readers a more balanced and comprehensive view of the candidates and issues, The News is using a different approach this year. Some of the selections will bear the traditional endorsement of the newspaper’s editorial board. In other races, we'll offer the personal recommendations of our editorial columnists, Nolan Finley and Ingrid Jacques, along with columns from alternative viewpoints. As always, our mission is to provide our readers with the resources to help them make informed choices on Election Day.

I’m proud to support my friend, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Each day, I go to work with 99 other U.S. senators. And I can’t think of one who works harder, works smarter, or cares more deeply about her state than Debbie.

Debbie is Michigan through and through. She was born here, grew up here, raised her children here, and she comes home every weekend. Debbieis laser focused on doing what’s best for our state, and it shows in the people she works with and in her bipartisan accomplishments — both the big things and the small things.

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She always likes to say that Michigan doesn’t have an economy unless we make something and grow something. So she was on the front lines with me in the effort to save the American auto industry during the Great Recession. And when the Flint water crisis happened, she didn’t waste time pointing fingers. Instead, she got to straight to work, and we fought side by side to pass $170 million in assistance to replace pipes and get Flint families the critical health care and food assistance they needed. Debbie brings this dedication and tenacity to everything she does on behalf of Michigan residents.

And at a time when partisanship is at its highest, Debbie doesn’t allow herself to get distracted by Washington’s sniping and infighting. Instead, she puts her head down and does the hard work of governing.

That bipartisanship helped Debbie pass two bipartisan Farm Bills, including the recent Senate Farm Bill with a vote of 86-11 — the most “yes” votes in history — and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative — historic legislation that provides funding to clean up and protect our waters. And when the Administration tried to zero-out GLRI’s funding — twice — I was proud to be part of a bipartisan coalition that Debbie put together so we could fight back and get every penny restored. That’s especially important in our state, where 1 in 5 jobs are tied to the water.

Debbie has partnered with Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri to fund our community health centers, and their groundbreaking Excellence in Mental Health Act — which will improve quality and funding — is currently providing $27 million for improved community mental health services in communities in Michigan.

She’ll work with anyone in the Senate — and in our state — who wants to get things done for you and your family. It’s a true testament to her effectiveness that she’s earned the support of a wide cross-section of groups, including our state’s major police and fire organizations, labor, environmental and conservation groups, the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Association of Realtors, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Agri-Business Association, and a whole host of other farm groups. The Small Business Council of America gave Debbie a Special Congressional Achievement Award in 2017 as a champion for small business.

Just as important is the work Debbie does when nobody’s handing out awards. I’ve been so impressed with her diligent focus on solving people’s problems — whether it’s helping veterans get the honors they earned, advocating for a small business owner, or solving a retiree’s issues with Social Security. It doesn’t make headlines, but it makes a difference, and that’s what Debbie is all about.

For all of these reasons, I will be proud to cast my vote for Debbie Stabenow on November 6th. I hope you’ll join me. I couldn’t ask for a better partner, and Michigan couldn’t ask for a better champion.

Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, represents Michigan in the U.S. Senate.