GOP challengers for Board of Regents emphasize protecting conservative voices, fiscal discipline
The Michigan Republican Party announced Sarah Hubbard and Carl Meyers as its candidates for the University of Michigan Board of Regents this weekend. They will face off against incumbents Shauna Ryder Diggs (D) and Mark Bernstein (D) in the November general election. Currently, Regent Ron Weiser is the only Republican serving on the board.
Meyers, a longtime political operative and former Michigan Republican Party treasurer, ran unsuccessfully for regent in 2004 and 2016. He also made a bid for the position in 2014 but did not receive enough votes at the state nominating convention. Meyers, a U-M Dearborn alum, is currently the senior vice president of Investments at Raymond James.
Meyers thanked the Republican Party for the nomination in a Facebook post and said if elected, he wants to freeze tuition at the University.
“After all athletes are back on the field and students back in the classroom, my first order of business will be to propose a freeze in tuition,” Meyers wrote. “Yes, freeze tuition … U of M is now one of the most expensive public universities in the country. In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board chose to raise tuition costs … this is just wrong.”
In 2016, his platform focused on fiscal conservatism, budget transparency and accessibility. His priorities for 2020 are similar, noting the need for financial discipline in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Meyers’s pre-convention campaign statement, Meyers’s campaign has raised a total of $179.68 in contributions and other receipts, all of which came from Meyers himself.
Meyers did not respond immediately to request for comment.
Hubbard, his co-challenger and University alum, is a small-business owner and has experience working in Republican politics. According to her campaign website, she will try to lower tuition by taking efforts to “rein in out of control spending.”
The website also notes that she wants the University to reopen for in-person classes amid the pandemic and emphasizes the need to promote freedom of speech on campus, claiming that conservative voices are “consistently mocked and stymied, even to the point of being banned” on campus.
In an interview with The Daily, Hubbard said her Republican values informed her campaign for regent.
“I’m conservative, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment — that’s something that just as a regent I think is important and a matter of representing the Republican Party,” Hubbard said. “But as far as issues before the Board of Regents, I haven’t really had a chance to look at those and how it applies at this point.”
“It’s important that students be back at school and I admire the fact that the University has found a way to bring kids back to the dorms,” Hubbard said. “I also wish that we could move forward with a football season, just like a lot of our peers are across the country. Unfortunately, the Big Ten made this decision to basically cancel football … and it’s too bad because it plays such an important role for the entire athletic system at Michigan as well as the University as a whole.”
The Big Ten has not canceled the season entirely. Instead, the season is tentatively postponed, though the organization has not said how long this postponement will be.
According to campaign finance documents filed prior to the convention, Hubbard’s campaign has raised a total of $2,675 in contributions and other receipts. Of that, $1,000 came from her father, Jerry Hubbard, who previously served as a supervisor of Branch County Commissioner and Union Township.
In addition to advocating for Second Amendment rights, Hubbard’s campaign website lists supporting anti-abortion voices on campus as a priority, a stance she doubled down on when speaking to The Daily.
“I think it’s important for all voices, really, to be brought to the fore(front) related to discussions on campus,” Hubbard said. “It’s important to make sure everyone’s heard pro-life conservatives in classrooms, and that they are able to make sure that their points are made and that they’re understood, that there are several points of view on lots of different issues and we want to make sure that that kind of speech is protected.”
In a June 2 Facebook post detailing his campaign priorities, Meyers also highlighted what he sees as the stifling of conservative voices on campus.
“From the Governor’s office to our universities, civil liberties are being eroded. I believe in protecting free speech on campus and assuring fair admissions for all,” Meyers wrote. “The University must foster an environment on campus where all students feel free and safe to express their thoughts and views, without fear of retribution from fellow students, faculty or the administration.”
Meyers also acknowledged the difficulty of running against incumbents, arguing that the Democratic supermajority on the Board of Regents must go.
“This is going to be a tough race…,” Meyers wrote. “I expect to be running against two sitting liberal Democratic incumbents. It’s going to be a real fight, but I’m up to the challenge!”