Greg Grieves is one of the rare Democrats running for the Michigan Legislature against a Republican that is recommended by the Michigan Education Association. Only three Republicans out of 114 races received the MEA recommendation. The public employee union represents more than 157,000 teachers, faculty and education support staff.
His Republican opponent is Mike Callton of Nashville. Both candidates hope to replace Republican Rep. Brian Calley in the 87th state House district seat.
To know part of the reason why Grieves is an exception one need look no further than his candidate profile posted by WOOD-TV8 in Grand Rapids.
The first question on the WOOD survey asked about the proper way to put Michigan "back to work." Grieves' first suggestion was that the state should cut funding for education and roads.
The second question asked for his top priority in the first 100 days in office. He wrote: "trying to get concession from all state employees."
The fourth question asked what he would cut to balance Michigan's budget? Grieves wrote: "schools, university, roads, jail."
The Kalamazoo Gazette reported: If elected, Grieves said he would divert money away from education and instead use it to help existing manufacturers in Michigan expand their production and hire more people.
"I would put less emphasis on education and more on jobs for people," Grieves said,
Grieves doesn't appear to be angry with the MEA by the slight.
"MEA is a very good and well run group," he wrote in an e-mail. "But they have not refused to take more money from the bailout. Our country is in bad shape and we need jobs. That comes first before anything."