Northwood University is hosting “An Evening with Your Candidates” on July 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Bennett Sports Center. Free entry

Nationally and internationally, Northwood University is known as America’s Free Enterprise University.

Locally, we are honored to be called Midland’s University.

On Wednesday, July 20, these two identities come together as we host “An Evening with Your Candidates” on our campus.

As a nonprofit institution of higher learning, Northwood provides this nonpartisan forum for voters to learn about candidates vying to represent Midland and the Great Lakes Bay Area. As a business university, we will focus on economic issues, including tax, fiscal and energy policy; Infrastructure; lodging; and the business climate. Our Economics and Political Science faculty crafted the questions, and we believe attendees will leave the event with new knowledge before casting their ballots in Michigan’s August 2 primary election.

We have invited candidates from five races that include all or part of Midland County, and 19 of the 20 candidates have confirmed their participation. These races also include Bay, Genesee, Gladwin and Saginaw counties. The races presented are:

• 2n/a District Representatives in the United States: Jerry Hilliard (R), John Moolenaar (R), Thomas J. Norton (R).

• 8e District House of Representatives in the United States: Dan Kildee (R), Matthew Seely (R), Paul Junge (R), Candice Miller (R).

34e District State Senate: Christine Gerace (D), Roger Hauck (R) and Lisa Semeurs (R).

35e District State Senate: Kristen McDonald Rivet (D), Tim Kelly (R), Martin Blank (R), Annette Glenn (R) and Christian Velasquez (R).

95e District State House of Representatives: Matthew Dawson (D), Larry Grell (D), Ann Manary (R), Charles A. McGinnis Jr. (R) and Bill G. Schuette (R).

Your vote this year could be more important than ever given the redistricting finalized last year. Redistricting still generates debate about perceived winners and losers, but we won’t know the full impact of redistricting until after the election. At Northwood, we emphasize individual freedom and personal responsibility. Accordingly, we urge voters to exercise their freedom to vote and take personal responsibility for making informed decisions at the polls.

All are welcome to “An Evening with Your Candidates”. We hope voters appreciate this opportunity to move beyond campaign rhetoric and focus on substantive issues, especially those that affect our economy.

If you wish to attend, please reserve the date of July 20. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the program will begin at 5:30 p.m. at our Bennett Sports Center. Admission is free and our capacity is 1,500 people. The first 500 registrants will be guaranteed a VIP seat and the next 700 will benefit from a preferential seat. If you plan to attend, please register online at

This is the first such event we’re hosting here at the Free Enterprise University of America, and we hope to see you there, in Midland and beyond!

Kristin Stehouwer is provost and vice president of academics at Northwood University.

About Myra R.

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