IRON MOUNTAIN - Dr. Dan Benishek announced on Monday he is running as a Republican against Bart Stupak for Michigan's 1st District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Benishek is a surgeon for Dickinson County Healthcare System and has never before sought an elected political office.
He collected the 1,000 signatures needed to put his name on the Aug. 3 primary ballot.
Dr. Dan Benishek, right, announces his candidacy for Michigan’s 1st District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Benishek made his announcement in front of the Dickinson County Courthouse on Monday.
Theresa Peterson/Daily News Photo
Rep. Stupak, D-Menominee, has served in Congress since 1993.
Born and raised in Iron River, Benishek graduated from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University and has been practicing surgery at DCHS since 1983.
"I am disgusted by all the spending in Washington and people are voting to spend our money and not knowing where it is going or where it is coming from," he said at the Dickinson County Courthouse on Monday.
"I feel compelled to seek a position at this time because of disturbing developments in our nation's Capitol," said Benishek. "I truly believe the people in our district deserve better."
He added he has received tremendous response from people across the district, but will need lots more support in his campaign to "restore the American dream."
Benishek is committed to principles of personal responsibility and limited government.
The issues Benishek would fight for, if elected, are reducing unemployment, lowering taxes, improving border security, reducing energy and resource dependency, prosecuting terrorists, and protecting the right to life.
He said the number one issue on his agenda is private-sector job creation.
"We need to create jobs. The government does not create jobs, businesses do," he said.
Benishek added businesses are reluctant to hire people because of increasing taxes.
"Stop the spending, stop the taxes so people are able to invest," he said.
Benishek would also like to secure the U.S. borders. He said he favors immigration, but it needs to be regulated and controlled.
Mentioning the Kennecott Mine, Benishek said there are resources in the U.P. that need to be promoted and regulated.
Benishek added prosecuting terrorists should be a main priority, and they should be in prison until the war is over.
Referring to the right to life, Benishek believes life should be preserved.
"The government is not the person to make the changes in health care. We need competition in the health care industry," he said. "We need to restore common sense to our government."
Benishek added more government means less liberty.
"I'm here to change that. I need your support for change.
Vote on Aug. 3 and Nov. 3," he said.
Benishek lives in Crystal Falls with his wife, Judy.
They have five children, Joe, Kirby, Todd, Mickey and Adrienne and two grandchildren, Allison and Blayden.
Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.