Next year, Michigan will choose a new governor. Several people have announced their candidacies, including Ann Arbor resident and entrepreneur Shri Thanedar.
Thanedar is running as a Democrat. He’s wealthy and has never held political office. He has criticized Governor Rick Snyder, by saying government shouldn’t be run with a spreadsheet mentality. If elected, Thanedar says he would improve the quality of life for average people in Michigan.
“I am a small business person, and my focus is going to be more on investing in human beings as opposed to investing in corporate welfare that we see today,” Thanedar said. “So my focus would be creating the skill sets, helping entrepreneurship, creating a start-up culture… overall spurring of the economy to help create good-paying jobs.”
Thanedar says he owned businesses in several states across America in 2010. But his businesses took a hard hit during the recession and he says he “lost it all,” before returning to Ann Arbor and restarting his business from scratch. He says government has a role in encouraging people “to do good for themselves,” which he hopes would spur economic growth.
Despite his struggles during the recession, Thanedar says his business acumen is something voters should see as one of his strengths.
He says he worked as a janitor when he was in high school and college in order to help his family make ends meet, so he can relate to Michigan families that are living paycheck to paycheck.
Thanedar bills himself as a progressive. He says access to higher education and healthcare “should not be a privilege.” He says as governor, he would come up with a plan to get health coverage for everyone in Michigan.
Thanedar also discussed what Michigan should do for Flint children poisoned by lead, and he talked about limiting tax incentives for corporations, reforming Michigan’s tax laws and campaign financing.
Listen to the entire conversation with Shri Thanedar, candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor of Michigan, above.