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Allegan County commissioner hopes to replace former state rep Gamrat

Sep 14, 2015

Jim Storey takes questions from the media after announcing Monday he'll run in the special election to replace Cindy Gamrat.
Credit Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Allegan County Commissioner Jim Storey announced today he'll run to replace former state representative Cindy Gamrat. Gamrat was expelled from office last week in the wake of a sex and cover-up scandal.

Rusty Dutkiewicz came out to the small dinner in Holland where, after an opening prayer, Storey announced he’ll run in the special election. She can’t wait for him to get to Lansing.

"He’s been on all these boards and helped businesses and everybody so much already," Dutkiewicz said. "Not the way you think about a politician, you know how we think about that word. He's a people helper."

Dutkiewicz owns a small grocery store in Dorr. So she says Storey’s commitment to reduce government regulation is important. So is his pro-life stance, she said. But, maybe most importantly after the Gamrat drama, she says Storey is someone people in Allegan County know and trust.

Storey is the second candidate to announce he'll run. The deadline to file in the special election is Friday.

If elected, Storey says he’d be outspoken against government regulations. Assuming lawmakers figure out a way to fix the issues around funding road improvements, Storey says he thinks the other big issues will be attracting high-paying jobs to the state, and the possibility that recreational marijuana will be soon be legal.

"The problem is that in order to have that voice heard you have to have the respect, you have to have the record of knowing how to work with government," Storey said.

Storey says unlike Gamrat, he has that respect, because he’s served on numerous local boards and groups for decades and knows the "ground rules" for getting things accomplished.