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Meet the Republicans running in Michigan's newly drawn 5th Congressional District

Posted at 3:05 PM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 18:56:33-04

JACKSON, Mich. — With the Aug. 2 primary just days away, we’re taking a look at some of the biggest races.

In Jackson and Hillsdale counties, voters will have a choice between Congressman Tim Walberg and Dr. Sherry O’Donnell on the Republican side in Michigan’s newly drawn 5th Congressional District.

Walberg has served as a congressman in the soon-to-be former 7th District since 2011. Prior to that, he was in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1983 to 1999.

He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, lost his re-election bid to Democrat Mark Schauer in 2008 but regained his seat in 2010.

The fiscal conservative says the biggest issue facing his district is inflation.

“We have to get that under control,” he said. “You can talk about all sorts of other issues but in the top issues of people’s minds it’s, how am I going to pay for my kids schooling? How am I going to pay for the groceries that I need to pick up at the store? How do I pay for prescription drugs I have, and will I be able to pay for the gas to get to all of these places?”

He says the government needs to get its spending under control.

“I supported the initial COVID relief bill but voted against most of them after the first two cycles,” he said. “Frankly, we had spent enough. In our state, they still haven’t spent all of the COVID relief the fed sent to them and a lot of it is being spent on things that aren’t priority so that’s where we have to look.”

Walberg currently represents Jackson and Hillsdale counties and that wouldn’t change if he is re-elected.

The new 5th District stretches from Monroe County bordering Lake Erie to Berrien County in the southwest part of the state.

St. Joseph based Dr. Sherry O’Donnell is running against Tim Walberg. She is an internal medicine physician who, according to her website, has traveled to more than 30 countries to help in short-term medical missions and disaster relief and has also helped the Benton Harbor community during its water crisis, New York City at the beginning of its COVID-19 surge and in Ukraine.

“As I saw the disastrous state that our country was in, I was begging myself and asking the same question to the Lord and I felt like I was to go, our country is in a state of disaster,” she said. “I very much feel compelled by God to do what I can do because I am a doer, and I do have the skill set to get things done.”

She says inflation is a huge problem and feels that America’s constitutional rights are being stripped away.

“I think it is absolutely to control the people and to create a greater dependence on the government at a greater tyranny,” she said. “What I saw during COVID and the past two years we acted into especially the beginning, especially New York City, like sheep being led to the slaughter. Do I think it’s a matter of control and overtake? Yes. Do I know, do I understand the deeper secrets right now? What’s going on? Oh, I wish I did. I don’t get it. And, I think it’s broken. I think we need to get back to what made America great for 250 years and that’s the Constitution that I believe in so many ways is a living document and to stop the overreach of the government.”

If she is elected, she plans on opening an office in Hillsdale because she says she plans on having an open-door policy and wants to be in the middle of the district where people have access to her.

“We’ve got to work together and we’ve got to heal our land,” she said. “I’m going to take that 21 years of experience. I worked in hospital politics. I don’t think there’s any deeper politics than hospital politics, but I’ve learned with that skill set to be a healer of the land, a healer of the people to unite us and bring us together. That’s the platform. That’s what I want to see. That’s what I think our state and nation needs.”

Walberg said, if he is elected, he will continue to work on lowering inflation, combating illegal drug trafficking as well as combating human trafficking.

“I prove that not only according to American Conservative Union, the gold standard for conservatism. I’m the number one most conservative member of the Michigan delegation with a 90 plus percent lifetime rating,” he said. “It’s been consistent and not just talked about. I have the endorsement of the National Rifle Association with an unblemished record in support of the Second Amendment. I’ve been supported by the Farm Bureau, Michigan Farm Bureau, National Farm Bureau, because I’ve stood with agriculture in promoting the industry that is integral to my district.”

Whoever wins the Republican primary, will vie for the seat against Democrat Bart Goldberg.

We will have live election coverage for you Tuesday night updating all of the races.

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