The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

1st Congressional candidate Brady visits Ironwood


Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

DWIGHT BRADY meets with local Democrats and other constituents Thursday at Ironwood's Cold Iron Brewing. Brady is running as a Democrat for the 1st Congressional District, currently held by Rep. Jack Bergman.

IRONWOOD - The campaign for the 1st Congressional seat in the 2018 election came to the Gogebic Range Thursday as Democrat Dwight Brady visited Ironwood.

Boasting he is the only born-and-raised Yooper to enter the race so far; Brady said he grew up in Schoolcraft County, where his parents bought and renovated an old resort to operate.

"It was a great place to grow up, it really was. We had to work hard on weekends to clean cabins and wash boats, and of course there's always lawns to mow and leaves to rake," Brady told the Daily Globe during a brief stop at the paper. "But we always had some time to get out and do some swimming and fishing - just exploring the vast woods around where we lived. ... It was a time where you developed a work ethic, but you also developed a deep love for the land. So that's still with me."

That deep love of the state led him to take a lower-paying job at Central Michigan University after he completed his doctorate, rather than taking a position at Virginia Tech.

"There was something that told me this wasn't the right fit for me," he said referring to the Virginia Tech position.

After teaching at CMU for a year; he took a position at Northern Michigan University, where he teaches multi-media journalism and media law classes in the school's Communication and Performance Studies program.

The campaign to unseat Rep. Jack Bergman - who was elected to his first term in the House of Representatives in November 2016 - isn't Brady's first foray into politics. Brady said he was appointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to the Michigan Climate Action Council in 2007, and had explored running for the 1st Congressional seat in 2010, following Bart Stupak's retirement.

Brady said he is running to combat the increased role "big money" plays in the nation's politics.

"I think we all feel there is something wrong with the picture we have today, you know, in Washington," Brady said. "It seems the big-money interests have taken over Washington."

He pointed to the recent healthcare bill the House of Representatives approved as an example.

"They passed what they said was a healthcare bill, but essentially it was a huge tax break for the wealthiest 1 or 2 percent," Brady said. "To me, that's not America. We need to make sure we have a fair tax system, and right now it seems there are so many tax breaks going to corporations and the wealthiest (citizens)."

He said as he travels through the 32 counties in the district, introducing himself to voters and getting the 1,000 signatures needed to appear on the ballot - a task he hopes to complete by mid-summer - healthcare is consistently the top concern for people.

"People are frightened, they don't know what the future holds for them with regard to healthcare - and we all feel it, even if you have healthcare covered by an employer," Brady said.

Given these concerns; he said he supports some form of single-payer, medicare-for-all type system. This will not only improve coverage for people but also reduce bureaucracy and simplify billings for the industry.

While he said some people are concerned about the cost of a single-payer system, the rising healthcare costs will soon become unaffordable for people unless something is changed.

Brady criticized Bergman for his vote in support of the bill.

"He's basically voted the party line. He voted to, basically, kick 24 million people off of healthcare and give a huge tax break to the wealthiest Americans who really don't need it," Brady said. "I think we need someone that needs to vote the district first, and not the party line."

Brady especially singled out the potential damage the proposed House bill could have on the 14 Critical Access Hospitals in the district - including Aspirus Ironwood - arguing they would have to treat so many uninsured patients in their emergency rooms it would be difficult to continue operating.

"If elected; I will definitely vote my district first, and consider all the dominoes that can fall when you make a vote like that," he continued.

Brady also promised to fight for other things important to the district; ranging from clean water and creating post-secondary education pathways that lead to employment to the Essential Air Service that helps fund a number of airports in the district, including the Gogebic-Iron County Airport.

While he is keeping up with a busy schedule, heading to Houghton and several other counties in the Upper Peninsula before heading downstate; Brady said he enjoyed campaigning.

"I really like campaigning too, maybe not as much as hunting and fishing - (but) it's right in there," Brady said. "It suits me well, I enjoy it. I think it's just getting out and meeting people - again, finding out how you can be of help."

Following the interview, Brady travelled down the street to the Cold Iron Brewing building for a meet-and-greet with local Democrats.


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