Ludington resident challenging O’Malley for GOP House nomination.

April 30, 2018

Carolyn Cater

Ludington resident challenging O’Malley for GOP House nomination.


By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Ludington resident Carolyn Cater has entered the race for the Republican nomination to represent the Michigan House of Representatives 101st district, which includes Mason, Manistee, Benzie, and Leelanau counties. She is challenging Lake Ann resident, and well-known radio and television personality, Jack O’Malley.

Politics is something that Cater has had an interest in since her freshman year in high school.

“If anything would have catapulted me into politics it was working with Right to Life,” she said. Her passion for the topic extended into college. “I had this utopian idea that I could make a difference at that time. I was this young girl going into college and everything I did was about abortion. Every paper. Every debate. I had a professor actually say that I changed his mind on the topic.”

Cater majored in international relations and minored in Spanish, along with geography and city planning, at Grand Valley State University. Following college she interned for then-State Senator Bill Schuette (the current Michigan Attorney General who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor). “That was a wonderful experience,” she said. “At that same time, I had a feeling that my efforts might be inefficacious. At the same time I was working on boats in the Great Lakes.”

Cater is the chair of the Mason County Republican Executive Committee. She said she has most recently worked on the S.S. Badger but is currently unemployed.

Cater said she comes from a long line of Democrats. She was raised by a single mother and knows what it’s like to live in poverty. “I have the unique perspective of knowing what it’s like to have a welfare Christmas,” she said. “I can name people who used to be middle class and they are now moving toward the poverty line. We need to help Michigan bounce back so we can prevent that from happening.”

Cater said she has been contemplating running for a political office for some time, but was convinced to run for the 101st district seat after hearing O’Malley speak at the Mason County Lincoln Day Dinner.

“I have had philanthropist intentions to help people around me, I just didn’t know who to do it. It was on my mind that the next midterm elections were coming around. I didn’t really see a race where I had an opportunity to jump into it. Then Curt (VanderWall, current 101st representative) stepped out of that realm and decided to go for the Senate. Then I heard there was another candidate running. I waited to hear him speak. He seemed like a nice man. I don’t know a lot about him. His speech didn’t resonate for me. His tagline is the voice of northern Michigan it didn’t resonate with me. I thought maybe this was my calling time.

“If my grass roots message doesn’t resonate with the voter at least I can get the message out on how important this primary election is. I can go door to door and still pound the pavement.”

Cater said she she does not believe the current Legislature has bounced back Michigan’s economy like it should.

“I think our Legislature could have done a better job since our lost decade of Granholm’s administration.”

She said she is not seeing people of northern Michigan reaping the benefits of the improved economy.

“We live in these beautiful waterfront communities with four seasons. What’s wrong with Michigan where we can’t attract jobs here?”

Cater said she graduated from Ludington High School and moved away. She has since lived here for the past 11 years.

“I haven’t seen improvements. There are more drugs. More overdoses, poverty and crime. There’s this underbelly growing that is slightly hidden. We have a wonderful tourist industry but after those three months are over, people have to work three or four jobs to make the $700 or more a month rent. I would like to see parents have one good paying job so maybe they could be home when their children get out of school.

“I just see a lot of stuff around me and I’m thinking we could do more and we’re not. It matter the caliber of Republican we vote for in August and who gets on the ballot in November. Sometimes I’m not happy with that choice in the ballot. I like to think I’m more of the reality candidate that is going to help drain the swamp.

“There’s a lot of stuff that falls on deaf ears when it comes to the constituents. For example, over 80 percent voted for no more gas tax but yet we got another gas tax, which still hasn’t fixed the roads in the last 10 years. Now we have some of the highest gas prices in the Midwest.

“We have the highest cost of insurance. In west Michigan it is double the national average. Not only are people struggling to feed their family and pay their mortgage or rent, they have to pay ungodly amounts of car insurance rates.”

Cater said the hospital lobby is partially to blame for the Legislature’s lack of ability to pass no-fault insurance reform.

“There are a lot of different facts that went wrong with that bill,” she said. “One of them was the fact that it wouldn’t give the amount of coverage that people have now. Right now we have the Cadillac of all insurance plans. If that bill would have passed it would have covered people to the level of ‘Obamacare’ would cover.”

Cater said her campaign strategy will include going mostly door to door. “That way I can talk to people one on one,” she said.

Republican voters will choose between Cater and O’Malley during the Aug. 7 Primary Election. The winner of that race will take on one of the two Democrat candidates, Kathy Wiejaczka and Edward Hoogterp.

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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