As the 2014 U.S. Senate elections come around the corner, Republican candidate Terri Lynn Land will challenge U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D) in the race for the retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin’s seat.

Originally from Grand Rapids, Land was elected as Kent County Clerk in 1992. Though she did not win her election for Michigan State Board of Education in 2000, Land was elected as Michigan’s 41st Secretary of State in 2002 and served in the position for two consecutive terms — the maximum allowed in Michigan. During her tenure, Land was recognized for optimizing queuing times at election polling locations and improving online service options.

1. Despite criticism, Land hopes to win the women’s vote

Land’s campaign advertisement from earlier this year mocked claims that she was waging a war against women’s rights as she supports wage equity among genders and is an abortion opponent.

“As a woman, I might know a little bit more about women than Gary Peters,” she said in her advertisement from earlier this year, titled “Really?”

On her website, Land calls herself a “strong supporter” of equal pay for women and men and greater workplace equity. Land also says she opposes government funding for abortions.

2. She’s opposed to the Affordable Care Act

Known for criticizing President Barack Obama’s and Peters’ views on health care, Land called Obamacare a “string of broken promises and a disaster for thousands of Michigan families” earlier this month in an interview with the Lansing State Journal. She recommends overhauling the recently implemented health care reform for a more free-market approach to health care accessibility.

Through her Michigan First Plan, a comprehensive platform that proposes policy changes to strengthen Michigan’s economy, Land includes amendments that she says would increase patients’ autonomy over their health care choices — ultimately increasing transparency and mobility in coverage and decreasing costs.

3. She supports bans on same-sex marriage

When asked about her views on same-sex marriage, Land said she supported the notion of a “traditional marriage between a man and a woman,” MLive reported in March.

4. She’s backing small business

Much of Land’s early childhood was spent working at her family’s motel business. She has been propagating simpler IRS processes, which she hopes will ease the burden on small business owners to allow them to spend more time with their families.

“I believe the current tax system is unfair to Michigan families and businesses,” Land said in an interview last week with the Lansing State Journal. “We need reform that makes taxes lower, fairer and simpler for families and businesses.”

The Michigan First Plan includes a proposal that would ultimately reduce the corporate tax rate, allowing for small businesses to more easily invest and thrive in Michigan.

5. When it comes to media, she’s playing it safe

Known for her reserved campaigning style, Land has avoided media interviews and press conferences. While she is sometimes known to bring along reporters during public meetings and interactions with citizens, Land has kept media representatives out of the loop for several of her public events.

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