Scio Township Trustee Gordon Darr is not your average Republican.
After all, one usually does not hear Republicans saying, “Things are different, we don’t have to keep lowering taxes.”
Darr, the GOP nominee for the 18th District state Senate seat, comprising Ann Arbor, has numerous views anathema to most state Republicans. He is for holding off on cuts in the State Income Tax, reducing the prisoner population and favors public financing of campaigns for state offices. Currently only gubernatorial candidates receive matching funds from the state.
Elected to the Scio Township Board of Trustees in 2000, Darr is also a former Dexter village councilman and University alum.
Darr, a self-employed business leadership and technology consultant, says that growth in the use of technology will not only empower more Americans but will allow more people to get involved in politics.
“There’s a vast group of people in the middle,” he said with enthusiasm. “They’re non-voters. They feel disenfranchised. They need to be listened to.”
For that reason, Darr supports having the state get involved in the expansion of broadband Internet access. The state currently gives grants and bonds to unconnected localities to help them acquire broadband accessibility.
“We need to give people access to other people with ideas,” he said.
Darr is running for the seat being vacated by term-limited Democratic Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith. The 18th District encompasses most of northern Washtenaw County as well as the cities and townships of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
His Democratic opponent is former state Rep. Liz Brater of Ann Arbor.
During an interview with The Michigan Daily, Darr said he is committed to changing the ways decisions are made in the state and said many of the current leaders – Democrats and Republicans – unfortunately are committed to the status quo.
“The elected officials are saying, ‘We don’t want it to change’ because their whole life is dependent on things staying the same,” he said. “If I see Republicans doing something I think is fishy I’m going to do something about it.”
He said he is aware of rising tuition and less state funding coming to the University. One solution he proposes is to separate research funding from funding for teaching, as opposed to lump sum payments the University receives from the state.
“Maybe if we do something with how they’re accounted for maybe teaching won’t cost so much,” he said.