I have lived in Michigan my entire life, and I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. In recent years, however, it’s been downright repulsive. I have grown to love Michigan and want to stay here, but, given the state’s current job market, I’m not so sure I’ll be able to. The only way to ensure that I can do so is by voting in a new leader that can create jobs and turn our economy around.

And that is why I am voting for Rick Snyder for Michigan’s next governor.

Michigan’s appeal has declined considerably in recent years. Until recently, the state has had the highest unemployment rate of any state, hovering around 5% above the national average. In the last 10 years, Michigan has lost over one million jobs. When there are thriving cities within five hours of my home, it doesn’t make sense for me to stay here. Chicago, for example, is both reasonably close and home to over 70,000 recent Michigan State University and University of Michigan alumni. As a University senior, the exciting urban lifestyle of Chicago seems like a very attractive option for me within the next two years unless drastic change occurs in the Detroit area.

Having all but lost hope in the state in which I grew up, I started looking into who is running to turn around this giant financial blunder. Many people who have been working their entire lives have lost their jobs, and the youth who choose to stay here are thrust into an empty job market. Without a major spurt of job creation in the coming years, Michigan’s economic fate is doomed. Of the seven candidates running for governor, only one caught my attention with a long-term plan to turn around our economy: Republican Rick Snyder.

When I learned that Rick Snyder was both a businessman and venture capitalist who has made a career out of creating jobs, I knew he should be our next governor. His plans to make Michigan more business-friendly and to attract more high-tech jobs to the state are exactly what we need to turn Michigan around. We’re past the time when we can depend on the auto industry — there’s simply too much foreign competition. It’s time to move on to a new chapter, one in which education and technology will play a vital role.

Without major changes in our political leadership, Michigan’s economy won’t recover, the population will continue to fall and the vitality of this great state will dwindle to nothingness. Career politicians have taught us again and again that they’re not to be trusted. Detroit’s recent fiasco with Kwame Kilpatrick highlights the need for ethics and transparency in government. With Rick Snyder as governor, everything the government does will be readily available for public review and the government will be much more citizen-friendly.

Rick Snyder is the best candidate to reverse the consequences of this economic recession. He has a vision and a plan to run a results-oriented government, as opposed to having our legislators discuss the legality of fireworks when we are in the middle of an economic disaster. Instead of putting a bandage on the problem to “fix” Michigan, he wants to take our state and reinvent it. He’s a proven job creator with a vision and a plan to turn this state around — and give me a reason to continue living in the state I love.

Josh Arocho is an LSA senior.

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