Final push to get out vote in 71st District House race

Posted at 7:23 PM, Nov 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-08 08:15:09-05

 It was all about getting on the vote on Monday in the race for the 71st District seat in the state House of Representatives.

Republican Tom Barrett and Democratic challenger Theresa Abed spent the day doing door to door, hoping this final push will be enough to swing the election in their favor.

"I've worked really hard for our district and I think people will trust me with another term," Barrett said.

Across the aisle Abed says her background will ultimately win her the seat.

"I'm really well connected with the community, they know me, they trust me," Abed said.

It's a district where ousting incumbents has almost become a habit. Abed won this seat four years ago, then two years later Barrett beat her by 146 votes.

"I definitely don't take it for granted so I wanted to come by in person," Barrett told a voter in Delta Township while knocking on doors.

For Barrett this push is a chance to remind voters of his track record in office, which includes 11 bills he authored that were been signed into law, many of which benefit veterans.

"I'm the only Iraq war veteran in the State House of Representatives and I'm the only legislator still serving in the military today," Barrett said. "We have $800 million a year that Michigan veterans leave unclaimed from the federal government."

But Abed says her background as a social worker and former county commissioner keep her more connected to the community. Plus she says a large part of the reason none of the bills she authored were signed into law was because of the Republican majority in the House, something she says needs to change.

"I think what people want is more of a bipartisan approach to government. They feel like they're not being represented. Everything is about passing agendas that have nothing to do with them so they really want to be represented," Abed said. "I have a reason for every vote and they're always about the people and protecting our children, our families, our middle class workers and our veterans."

Democrats are trying to pick up nine seats in the House to regain control.So they're hoping this election will help them do just that since traditionally more Democrats turn out in presidential years.

Both Barrett and Abed say they're hearing from a lot of voters who are ready for this election to be over because they're sick of whats been going on in the presidential race, but that also has them thinking more about local races.

Both candidates hope that attention will work to their advantage at the polls.