102nd House candidate profile: Andrew Sebolt.

July 14, 2022

Andrew Sebolt

102nd House candidate profile: Andrew Sebolt.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

Andrew Sebolt, 40, of Hart, is seeking his party’s nomination for state representative for the second time. In 2020, Sebolt challenged incumbent Scott VanSingel of Grant for the Republican nomination of the 100st House District seat. Since re-districting has occurred, Sebolt is now seeking the nomination for the newly formed 102nd House District seat (see related story). He faces Curt VanderWall of Ludington who most recently has served the last four years as a state senator and, prior, served as a state representative for one term (two years), along with Ryan Roberts of Hart, who does not appear to have served in any elected seat. 

Sebolt is a 2000 graduate of Hart High School. After graduating from high school he joined the U.S. Army. His advanced individual training (AIT) graduation actually took place on Sept. 11, 2001 during the terrorist attacks on the U.S. He has also served in the Michigan National Guard. Following his military service, Sebolt attended West Shore Community College where he graduated with an associate degree in marketing management and then Ferris State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. 

He has owned and operated a couple businesses throughout the new 102nd district, including Manistee and Scottville, including a home nursing business and a hobby shop. He also worked for several years at Major Produce in northern Oceana County. In his current career, as director and general manager of Hometown Pharmacy “apothecare” he serves as a pharmacy benefits manager. He said his careers have provided him the opportunity to experience the diversity and similarities of the various communities in the new 102nd district and also have given him experiences in various industries including health care, small business and agriculture. 

Sebolt and his wife, Jennifer, have one daughter, Isabelle, and they attend the Wesleyan Church in Walkerville. 

Sebolt’s first involvement in state and local government began when he was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to serve on the Department of Health Services (now Dept. of Health and Human Services) board. He then served three terms, six years, on the Oceana County Board of Commissioners. Sebolt has also served the last six years as the chairman of the Oceana County Republican Party. 

He decided to run for county commission when he realized county government wasn’t spending tax dollars wisely, he said. 

“I started seeing the ways our tax dollars were used and realized that they weren’t used always with the most discipline. I wanted to take out the rubber stamp I was seeing in local government and bring in common sense.” 

Government shut downs and mask mandates. 

Sebolt chose to run for state representative in 2020 as a result of Gov. Whitmer’s government-imposed shutdowns and mask mandates, which included closing down private businesses and schools. 

“The government shut downs were clearly unconstitutional,” Sebolt said. “We had a Republican-led legislature that refused to take the governor to court. Instead we had private citizens take her to court. After those citizens won, the governor then used the health department to mandate masks and the legislature did nothing. They only offered up excuses.”

Election reform.

Sebolt said he would also like to see election reform in Michigan. He said he believes both major political parties are in favor of reforming the laws. 

“The Democrats have to believe it’s a horrible law also because I remember in 2016 when they complained about it. We need to make it transparent.” ‘

Economy and gas prices.

Sebolt said the economy is another topic he would like to see addressed. 

“The economy is clearly in shambles right now. I believe this is an issue that goes deeper than COVID. When I was on the DHS board, I would see how there is a revolving door with welfare. If you are able bodied and are on public assistance you need to get a job. There are plenty of jobs out there. You see help wanted signs everywhere. We also have to take a look at gas prices and do everything we can to lower them. Keeping Line 5 open is certainly something that has to be a priority. I know people want to go to green energy but windmills and sunshine are not powering the vehicles that bring groceries to the store. We need to use our fossil fuels as much as we can.”

Sebolt said the the push for electric vehicles has a lot of unanswered questions. One of the top issues is how roads will get funded. 

Road repairs.

“In Michigan, fuel taxes pay for most of the roads. Money from registration fees are a small part of the road funds, but most of it comes from fuel taxes. Electric vehicles don’t pay gas taxes. How are we going to make up for that lost revenue? In addition to that, Michigan’s road taxes should pay for roads, not other things like public transportation and bike paths. We don’t need any more bike paths and we don’t need any more hiking trails. We need to fix our roads. Currently, there is a 26 cent per gallon tax on fuel and 33% of those funds go to everything but roads and bridges.”

School safety.

Sebolt said he believes local taxes should fund school safety. He said he believes schools should be more secure but support from the state government means that tax dollars are trickled down to the local governments and school districts. “I believe school safety should be supported through local millages. This would assure the funds go directly to the county treasurer rather than the Michigan Dept. of Treasury, he said. 

Abortion.

Sebolt said he fully supports the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade and return the topic of abortion laws to the states. 

“We already have two laws in Michigan that make abortion illegal but haven’t been enforceable since Roe vs. Wade.

 

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