WSW: Democrat Turned Republican State House Candidate Says Parties Need To Work Together

Oct 18, 2018

Dave Morgan
Credit Gordon Evans / WMUK

State House candidate Dave Morgan says Republicans and Democrats need to “break down the wall” and work together. The Republican candidate for state House in the 62nd district has been on both sides of the wall. Note: This story has been updated in the section on ballot proposals.


Morgan has run for state House twice before, as a Democrat. This year he’s the Republican candidate for the state House district that includes the cities of Battle Creek, Springfield and Albion along with several townships. He is currently Pennfield Township Supervisor.

Auto Insurance

Morgan says there should be more options for drivers so they can pick less comprehensive coverage that it is also less expensive. He says there should still be an option for people who want insurance coverage that includes lifetime benefits for seriously injuries suffered in auto accidents. Morgan says he could see a catastrophic plan for everyone that kicks in after other coverage has been exhausted. He says Michigan should look at other states to develop a new auto insurance system.

Property Taxes

Morgan identifies lowering property taxes as one of his top priorities. He says increases can devastate seniors who are living paycheck to paycheck. Morgan says keeping property taxes low requires collaboration among local and state governments. He says perhaps millage elections should only be held during Presidential election years when voter turnout is highest.

Roads

Morgan says elected officials should work together to break down barriers so road funding can be used where it’s most needed. He says Public Act 51 which governs how road money is distributed to local governments may need to be revised. Morgan says lawmakers need to look at the entire state budget, and shift money to roads, and also water infrastructure.

Labor

Morgan has union ties that Republicans are hoping will help him in a district where the GOP won narrowly in 2014 and 2016. He says labor can’t exist without strong business. Morgan says labor is better off because jobs are coming back to Michigan, and he says business is better off with strong labor. Morgan says the Right to Work law should be examined to see what the impact really has been. He says the state needs good working conditions and also a good business climate.

Ballot Proposals

Proposal 1 to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes will not get Morgan’s vote. He says more research is needed on the impact or legal marijuana on crime and other factors. Morgan says he is also voting “no” on proposal 2 to appoint a redistricting commission. He says it eliminates voters from having a say in the process. Morgan says other parties such as Greens and Libertarians are not involved, and he objects to the $5.5-million price tag to pay for the commission. Morgan says he does support Proposal 3 to “Promote the Vote.” He says voters need access, and calls supporting the proposal “a no-brainer.”

Update: In his response to the question on Proposal 2 to change the redistricting process in Michigan, Morgan says that no members of the Green or Libertarian Parties can serve on the commission “Unless they’re put on the commission by the Secretary of State as one of the independents.” The Secretary of State does not choose the commission members. They seek applicants and the final commission is chosen at random. Morgan also says “These are paid positions… for a job that’s really going to make redistricting once every ten years.” Members of the commission would only be paid for their time during the redistricting process. The timeline, according the Citizens Research Council analysis of the ballot proposal, members would be selected September 1st of 2020. The deadline to vote on finalized plans is November 1, 2021.

Party Change 

This is Morgan’s third run for state House. The first two times he ran as a Democrat. Morgan says he has not changed his positions. He says it seemed like Democrats were spending all of their time protesting and resisting. Morgan says he has always been conservative as a businessman and more moderate on social issues. Morgan was endorsed by right to life this year. He says Planned Parenthood did a blanket endorsement when he was the Democratic nominee for a state House seat in 2010. Morgan says he has been pro-life regardless of which party he was a member of.

President Trump

Asked about Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley’s comment that this is “President Trump’s Republican party,” Morgan says it’s the people’s party. He says both parties are more than one candidate.

Discussion of other issues can be heard in the web version of the interview.

PFASes

Morgan says the state needs a long term plan to ensure safe drinking water. He says the state needs to figure out the source of PFAS contamination and put regulations in place. Pipeline Morgan says he’s not sure what’s best for Enbridge’s line 5. He says the state doesn’t want another oil spill like on the Kalamazoo River in 2010.

Guns

Morgan says he would not make any changes to Michigan’s current laws on guns.

Transparency

Morgan says the governor’s office and legislature should be subject to Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act. He says public access television that gets state money should be televising all local government meetings to the public.