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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: Republican Beth Griffin Seeking 66th State House Seat


Van Buren County Commissioner Beth Griffin says she wants to bring her passion for community service to the state House. 

Griffin is one of three Republicans running for the 66th district seat that includes Van Buren and northwest Kalamazoo County. Aric Nesbitt cannot run again because of term limits. Griffin sat down with WMUK’s Gordon Evans.


A teacher by trade, Griffin says sometimes teachers get a bad rap, and says she will bring more of a perspective of what it’s like inside the classroom to the state House if elected. Asked about possible consolidating or closing some districts, Griffins says local control is important in education. But she acknowledges that some districts have long-term problems. Griffin says there should be a balance of local control and ensuring every child is educated.

Revenue Sharing

The decline in state revenue sharing has put pressure on local governments, according to Griffin. The Van Buren County Commissioner says local governments have to make money go farther. Griffin says she wants to improve collaboration between state and local governments. She says it’s important to guard against unfunded mandates passed by the state on to local units of government.

Road Funding

Griffin says she expects funding for road repairs and construction to be a long term issue. She says the road funding package approved by the Legislature last year is a “first step.” Griffin says fixing the roads affects business, farmers and tourists. Griffin says road funding is complicated, but she says delaying repairs makes them more expensive in the long run.


State lawmakers approved a change that prevents voters from voting “straight ticket” in partisan races. Griffin says voting is precious. She hopes eliminating the straight ticket option encourages people to vote across party lines without leading to extra-long lines at the polls.


In an election year when voters seem to be calling for change, Griffin says her experience can be an asset. Griffin says she didn’t plan to go into politics. But she says she’s prepared herself by getting involved in the community and at the local government level. 

Interview with Beth Griffin - web version

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


Griffin says she favors keeping taxes low. She says changes in Michigan’s business tax have been positive in creating jobs.


Asked about energy policy, Griffin says she’s still studying and listening to what people in her district have to say.

LGBT Discrimination

Griffin says she’s against discrimination in any form. She says it can happen to anyone, a gay person, religious person or autistic child. But Griffin says she would have to do more research before deciding if any protections should be added to Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

Medicinal Marijuana

Griffin says she’s still studying up on new regulations for medical marijuana businesses, and wasn’t prepared to comment more fully on the issue.


Griffin describes herself as a proponent of the second amendment, but says the issue is complicated. Griffin says “the bad guys don’t follow the rules, and I wish it was a different world but it’s not.” Asked about any additional regulations, she says the state needs to be careful not to endanger the rights of people to defend themselves.

General Election

Griffin says this interview was not the first time she’s been asked about Donald Trump. “What I say is I’m a Republican, I’m a fiscal conservative I love my country and I won’t stay home on November 8th.”

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