2015-09-13 / Front Page

Chris Tuski announces bid for vacant 82nd House seat

810-452-2640 • jhogan@mihomepaper.com

An engineer by trade, 82nd House seat candidate Chris Tuski is also a farmer and has been a firefighter with the Hadley Township Fire Dept. for 24 years. An engineer by trade, 82nd House seat candidate Chris Tuski is also a farmer and has been a firefighter with the Hadley Township Fire Dept. for 24 years. HADLEY TWP. — Republican Chris Tuski, 53, of Hadley Township, has announced his intention to run for the 82nd House seat formerly held by Todd Courser whose term runs through November 2016.

Longtime friend, former state representative Kevin Daley will serve as Tuski’s campaign chairman while campaign manager is Chuck Mahoney. Daley was our state representative for six years, serving three terms before he was term limited.

While interested in politics and serving his community for some time, the current controversy swirling about Courser was the trigger point for Tuski to step forward at this time.

“I have known Chris for a long time. You’re not going to find a harder working man who is great at listening to people about issues and problems and then finding a solution,” said Daley. “I’m excited about Chris entering the race. People are really going to like him when they get to know him.”

Chris Tuski and his wife, Jeanne, are flanked by their children (on left) Joe and Carolyn and on right, Mary Claire, Lauren Synder (Tuski) and Paul Synder. Chris Tuski and his wife, Jeanne, are flanked by their children (on left) Joe and Carolyn and on right, Mary Claire, Lauren Synder (Tuski) and Paul Synder. Tuski currently works for Chrysler in the control area for powertrain software and previously worked for General Motors for 19 years as a powertrain engineer. Combined he has 30 years of experience working for two of the Big Three automotive companies.

Tuski graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1985 with degrees in electromechanical engineering technology and business.

“I pride myself in having the ability to take the most complex topic and boil it down to something people can understand,” said Tuski. It’s what I do at work and what I will be able to do, for example, when I look at the state budget,” a summary of which is on the backside of a campaign flier.

“I am dedicated to diving into the details of the budget to drive the highest level of quality and service for the citizens of Lapeer County,” Tuski writes on his literature. “By looking at data like this, answers and solutions can be found to create an economy where our communities can flourish and businesses can thrive. I promise to dive into the details to get the real story of where our tax dollars go and then offer real, feasible solutions for a budget that benefits Lapeer County and our state.”

On his campaign literature, Tuski uses the letters of his last name to spell Trust, Understanding, Sincerity, Knowledge and Integrity.

Like Daley, Tuski is also a farmer on his 60-acre homestead. Married to his wife, Jeanne, for 25 years, they have four children ages 24, 22, 17 and 16. He has been an active parishioner at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Lapeer for 25 years, which is where he and Daley first met through their involvement with Knights of Columbus.

At age 26, Tuski lost his parents, a brother and a grandmother in a 1988 Christmas Day crash that killed a fifth person as well when their vehicle was struck by a drunk driver at the intersection of Pratt and Baldwin roads.

Tuski has served on the Hadley Township Fire Dept. for 24 years. In his hometown community, he has also coached for 15 years with the Hadley Youth Baseball League.

“When you add in our extended family, we have a wide variety of professions and experiences. It makes for lively family get-togethers and lots of sharing of views and opinions,” said Tuski. “This has taught me to be a good listener and to understand other people’s perspectives without burning bridges. I want to transfer this ability into the public sector to serve the citizens of Lapeer County.”

He continued, “In attending multiple functions in the past few days and introducing myself as a candidate for the House of Representatives for Lapeer County, I have been told ‘Chris you are not a politician, and you have no political experience.’ My response has been I have spent a career forging relationships, negotiating, and making decisions based on data to design and manufacture some of the finest vehicles for General Motors and Chrysler. Furthermore, I have a very real concept of multi-billion dollar budgets and how to work with them to get results. I want to take these experiences and transfer them to government service in order to drive the highest value and efficiencies possible for the tax dollars we pay.”

Other contenders

Tuski is the fourth Republican to announce their candidacy for the 82nd House seat.

First out of the gate in July was Jake Davison, 35, of Mayfield Township, who has run a conservative political consulting firm in Lansing since 2011. In mid-August Imlay City resident and Lapeer County Commissioner Ian Kempf, 50, announced his interest in the job as well. Kempf, who co-owns Kempf’s Imlay City Florist with his wife has also managed the Eastern Michigan State Fair for the last 18 years. A week later, Deerfield Township resident Gary Howell, 67, retired last March after 41 years as an attorney with the Lapeer law office of Taylor, Butterfield, Howell, Churchill, Jarvis & Garner also announced he will seek the Republican nomination for state representative.

Jan Peabody, chair of the Lapeer County Republican Party, is still said to be considering another run at the office. Peabody lost to Rep. Courser by only 351 votes in the Republican primary last year. Arcadia Township Clerk Sharna Smith, who placed fourth in last year’s primary, has also told The County Press she too is giving thought to running for the 82nd seat again.

No Democratic candidates have yet to announce a bid for the office that pays approximately $71,000 per year.

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