102nd House candidate profile: Curt VanderWall.

July 14, 2022

Curt VanderWall

102nd House candidate profile: Curt VanderWall.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

Curt VanderWall, 60, of Ludington, is hoping to return to the Michigan House of Representatives after serving one four-year term as a state senator and a previous two-year term as a representative. VanderWall currently represents the 35th senate district, which has been changed due to re-districting. He previously was the representative of the 101st house district. VanderWall is now seeking the nomination for the newly formed 102nd House District seat (see related story). He faces Andrew Sebolt of Hart, along with Ryan Roberts of Hart, who does not appear to have served in any elected seat. 

“I decided to run for the House of Representatives again because, had I chosen to run for the senate, I would have been up against Jon Bumstead,” VanderWall said. Bumstead, who lives in Newaygo, currently represents the 34th senate district and is seeking the Republican nomination to run for the newly drawn 32nd senate district, which includes both Mason and Oceana counties. “The Republican party estimated that if I had launched a campaign against Bumstead, that it would have cost $500,000 for each of our campaigns. That money is better off spent defeating the Democrats in November,” VanderWall said. 

If VanderWall wins the Republican nomination and then wins the November election, he will be one of the most senior members of the House of Representatives. 

“I love what I do,” he said. “Helping people is something that I love. I’m a little different, I think, in my style of politics. I listen to both sides and work really hard for the district. The district is always number one and number two is the entire state. The people put me in office to make sure I go to work for them. This is the greatest job I have ever had.” 

VanderWall and his wife, Diane, own Turf Care Lawn & Pest Control Services/ Mole Man. They have three adult children.

Health care reform. 

VanderWall said one of his proudest accomplishments in the senate has been the passage of his bill, Sen. Bill 247 which restructures prior authorization. The bill, which passed overwhelmingly in March, reforms the prior authorization process by reducing wait times and streamlines how physician offices and payers interact, all with a goal of reducing paperwork and ultimately improving access to care for patients.

“The health outcomes of this bill are going to be dramatic,” VanderWall said. “I’ve also been part of numerous other health care bills including one that provides tuition reimbursement for health care professionals who stay in rural Michigan communities.

Economy.

VanderWall said, as he has been campaigning, the top issue people are concerned with is the economy. 

“Businesses are struggling. They don’t have enough help. They are being shut down because they don’t have the staff. People are concerned about that, they are concerned about inflation along with gas and food prices. We cannot continue at this pace.” 

Housing.

“I believe the next crisis that will effect the people in our area is affordable housing. This is already happening but it’s likely going to get worse. We need to find a way to assure we have affordable housing and we need to keep young people in our area.” 

School safety. 

The state budget, that was just passed and signed by the governor, allocates $160 million for school safety, including $50 million to fund school resource officers. VanderWall said keeping schools safe is a top priority. 

“I will do everything I can to assure that the schools and communities in the 102nd District have access to these funds,” VanderWall said. “The investment in school safety is pertinent and we need to be smart in how we do it. There is technology now that can detect weapons before a person even enters a building. I believe combining this technology with school resource officers is a good way to increase school safety.” 

Abortion. 

“My wife and I, along with my family, are pro-life. This topic will come back to the state, as it rightfully should. Currently, Michigan has a law from 1931 that basically makes abortion illegal except when it could jeopardize the health of the mother. There are already petitions out there to change the law. This will be a process that we will wait and see what happens there.”

Government lock downs and COVID mandates. 

“Right now there are a lot of petitions circulating on this issue. We want to make sure the legislature has some control over the decisions of what to do in a health care crisis like we saw during the pandemic. I believe we are still not out of the woods. Part of this will be decided, also, with the outcome of the gubernatorial race, but we still need to have a long term solution.” 

Agriculture. 

“Farming continues to be a top concern,” VanderWall said. “Some decisions the state has made on water withdrawal have been some of the worst decisions in the country. Our farmers are very very important to Michigan’s economy and we need to do everything in our power to assist them. There are now foreign interest groups that are purchasing our famers out and this is a major concern. We need to pay attention to that.”

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