On this year’s ballot are members from both branches of the Michigan Legislature (the state House of Representatives and Senate). If you are unsure which legislative district you vote in, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center to find more information — including your sample ballot customized to your home address.
Whether you choose to vote absentee or in person, get to know the candidates before you vote by reading their responses to key issues facing Michiganders.
Here (below) are candidates in their own words. To return to the main election package, click here.
Meet the candidates
Julie Brixie (Democrat): I live in Meridian Township and have been a homeowner here for 31 years. Former Rotarian, MSU alum, MS Crop and Soil Sciences and Environmental Toxicology. Meridian Township Treasurer, 10 years.; Meridian Township Board Member, 18 years; former environmental chemist. State Representative, elected in 2018 and 2020; Meridian Township Treasurer, elected in 2008, 2012, and 2016; Meridian Township Trustee, elected in 2000 and 2004. I signed the reproductive freedom ballot question petition (prochoice). I have not signed the no tax pledge.
Norm Shinkle (Republican): Michigan Tax Tribunal, Chairman, 1991 – 1998. Michigan State Board of Canvassers – 2009 to 2022. Michigan State Senator, 1983 – 1990; Bedford Township Supervisor, Monroe County, 1976 – 1978. St. Martha Catholic Church – member of Choir for 23 years; Knights of Columbus, St. Martha Council No. 10006; Williamston Rotary – Charter Member – District 6360; Past Red Cedar Recreation Authority, Little League Baseball Coach and Football Coach; Boy Scouts of America, Williamston Troop 63, past Merit Badge Counselor and Patrol Advisor; Cristo Rey Community Center – Board of Directors 6-28-07 through 5-24-13. I am opposed to any net tax increases and will take that pledge on any day. Taxes are high enough. I am pro-life and support the current Michigan law on abortion but recognize this issue will be on the ballot.
On systemic racism
Julie Brixie (Democrat): We have many tax policies that are part of systemic racism here in Michigan. Reforming school funding and local governments are one area to begin to tackle this problem. Communities with low property values (often urban areas) have difficulty raising funds through property taxes to replace outdated school buildings by bonding. As a result, they have to use education money for school buildings where suburban communities who rely on property tax bonds get to use all of their state monies on educating children. to tax to fund education and local governments.
Norm Shinkle (Republican): I believe that the content of one’s character determines if they are a racist and the vast majority of people are not racist. Government should not adopt programs that destroy families and increase urban decay. Please provide to me the statistics indicating there is systemic racism.
On the COVID-19 response
Julie Brixie (Democrat): I would give the governor a B+ on her response to the pandemic. There were so many life saving actions taken. Michigan was an early hot spot and had so many deaths early on, including my colleague from Detroit, Rep. Isaac Robinson. The pandemic has increased awareness of health care inequities, redefined essential worker, created child care problems and supply chain issues among many other things. We need to make sure we protect our food supply and invest in the necessary areas to protect manufacturing.
Norm Shinkle (Republican): The state over-reacted to COVID. Schools should have remained open. The state should pass legislation to have the legislature work with the Governor on addressing future pandemics.
On economic stability and inflation
Julie Brixie (Democrat): Workforce development remains very important. We have a huge opportunity in skilled trades for folks to get into with all of the infrastructure and transformational spending going on. We also need improvements in child care and increased capacity. We are still sitting on billions of dollars of relief funding that should be going out to small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
Norm Shinkle (Republican): We should make sure government does not inhibit the economy with regulations and other restrictions that may not be necessary.
On election security
Julie Brixie (Democrat): I accept the results of the 2020 election. Michigan Proposal 2 is crucial to continued protection of our democracy. There have been over 50 voter suppression bills introduced this year, many of them vetoed by the governor. Yet no action has been taken on the bills introduced to help municipal clerks process absentee ballots earlier than election day. Voters in Michigan overwhelmingly passed Proposal 3 In 2018 to allow any reason absentee voting. I support Proposal 2 to help make sure every citizen has the right to vote.
Norm Shinkle (Republican): There must be enforceable penalties when elected officials do not follow election law. Voters must trust the outcome of elections. There is not sufficient evidence of voter fraud to overturn the results of the 2020 election for President in Michigan.
On reproductive rights
Julie Brixie (Democrat): I am unequivocally in favor of providing access to safe legal abortions in Michigan. The 1931 abortion ban on the books today is archaic, cruel and must be repealed. I support Michigan Proposal 3 in order to constitutionally protect the right to safe legal abortion. Government doesn’t belong in anybody’s uterus or bedroom and I will fight for your privacy in these areas. I am deeply troubled that my three children have fewer reproductive rights than I did at their age.
Norm Shinkle (Republican): Michigan law currently prohibits abortion except to save the life of the mother. I support that law and acknowledge this issue will be decided by all the voters in Michigan now that Roe v. Wade is overturned.
On LGBTQ rights
Julie Brixie (Democrat): The LGBTQIA community should be treated equally under the law. I was very glad to see the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. However, the Dobbs decision has cast a shadow over that victory. My daughter got married this fall to the love of her life, another woman. The thought that she might not have that right forever, and that Michigan has refused to modify Elliot-Larsen is disturbing. I don’t think the government belongs in anyone’s bedroom, uterus or doctor’s office.
Norm Shinkle (Republican): The law should not allow discrimination against anyone.
Other issues of import
Julie Brixie (Democrat): Food supply security is an area where Michigan can really become an important national player. Our agricultural diversity and climate give us a huge advantage in protecting our nation’s food supply.
Norm Shinkle (Republican): State Energy Policy. Michigan needs to be as energy independent as possible. I support safe fracking, the installation of the Line 5 pipeline safely below the lakebed, and the unsubsidized use of clean energy generation.
This story was assembled from email questionnaires managed by LSJ news assistants Jayne Higo and Veronica Bolanos. Contact them at LSJ-EAs@lsj.com or 517.377.1112.