Draper, Erickson begin battle for District 4.

August 1, 2020

Draper, Erickson begin battle for District 4.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

Joshua Draper is running as a “No Party Afiliation” candidate for District 4 on the Oceana County Board of Commissioners, and Paul Erickson is running as a Republican.

Only Erickson will appear on the Aug. 4 primary ballot, but the two will face off in the Nov. 3 general election.

District 4 includes Colfax, Leavitt, Elbridge and Ferry townships. Current Commissioner Andrew Sebolt bowed out of the county commissioner race because he is seeking election as state representative of the 100th District, which includes Lake, Oceana and Newaygo counties. Scott VanSingel currently holds that office.

Paul Erickson

Paul Erickson, 64, of Hart is a sixth generation native of Oceana County.

Erickson and wife Stacia’s family includes: Jake, Mike (Krista) Erickson, Nate, Ethan and Justin AndresMooi.

He has owned PM Collision in Mears since 1995. Past work history Includes: Earl and Linda Peterson, first farm hand; Silver Hills Farm, Mrs. Paul Wiener, manager; Muskegon Federal Savings and Loan, Hart branch manager; First of America -Ludington, Hart branch manager; Val-Du-Lakes, general partner, design and construction.

Community service activity includes: past president, Hart Rotary; past treasurer, Hart-Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce; trustee, Julia Hager Trust; charter trustee, past president, Community Foundation for Oceana County; trustee, Hager-Lacey Memorial Scholarship Fund; board member, president, The Oceana County Agricultural Society; board member, president, The Oceana County Historical and Genealogical Society.

Educational background includes: graduate Hart High School, 1974; certificate automotive paint, Ferris State College; Central Michigan University, industrial arts, business law, art, humanities, philosophy, speech and communications.

Campaigned for and lost: 1984 Oceana County Register of Deeds to Joe Merten; 1988 Oceana County Clerk to Phyllis Schlee; 2018 ran for District 4, Oceana County Commissioner, lost to Andrew Sebolt, the incumbent, 641-634.

What is the single most important issue facing our county and what do you plan to do to address it?

I chose to run for commissioner again this term to make a difference. This pandemic has changed the landscape of our everyday life. I have been involved in making our sheriff’s department, our medical care, our local police departments safer, donating both N95 and charcoal respirators to these entities by the dozens. We were fortunate to procure them before the shortage as we knew of the COVID unit being formed in our medical care. That being said, I feel I am the best candidate available to represent our District 4 on the county board. My experience, relationships, network, and willingness to become involved in the daunting task ahead will be of a benefit to all. Our finances will be impacted, as well as our ability to balance the budget. We will have many difficult decisions ahead, and I feel confident in my ability as a concensus builder. I feel that no matter who you vote for in elections outside of our county, you can count on me to sort through the mistruths and bring input to the county board that are the best for our county. There are no promises this pandemic will “just go away.” I promise to do my best, using the fine example of the persons of whom have entrusted me with the positions I have held. I choose to live here, and make a difference.

Josh Draper

Joshua Draper, 35, and wife Hannah have three children. He belongs to the Newman Christian Community Church. He operates New Life Cartridges, which he has done since May of 2007. He is an NRA life member.

What is the single most important issue facing our county and what do you plan to do to address it?

I feel the most important task that our county is going to face in the coming years is the rebuilding of our lives and economy from the government’s reaction to the coronavirus. As a commissioner, I would have proposed a resolution to recognize that the government is put in place to protect the rights of the people. The forced closure of churches and businesses should not have been tolerated by our local government.

If our county was looking out for the constitutional interests of the people, we would have told the businesses and churches to do what makes them feel safe and comfortable. The economic growth for our county could have been phenomenal.

We need to be very diligent with the tax revenue that our county collects. We also need to look at areas that our county can cut spending so that we can lower the property taxes. This will encourage businesses and families that Oceana County will be a safe and prosperous place to settle their lives in.

I love this county. I have lived here for over 20 years, and this is home. It is my greatest desire to preserve the American freedoms for my children and us all.

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