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The Hillsdale County Demo­c­ratic Party held a meet-and-greet with Shri Thanedar, a Demo­c­ratic can­didate for gov­ernor, in its meeting on Wednesday.

Jessy Vigelow, vice chairman for the group, said the Hillsdale County Democrats invite all Demo­c­ratic can­di­dates in order to get the Demo­c­ratic voice out and provide more options for voters.

(Photo: Wiki­media)

“We get a lot of pos­itive feedback,” Vigelow said. “A lot of our members like the dif­ference in thoughts. They like the out-of-the-box views the various can­di­dates offer.”

Thanedar told The Col­legian he hopes to appeal to both sides of the political spectrum and that his history as a small business owner and immi­grant helps him bridge the divide.

“Someone like me would come in and say, ‘What is the right thing to do?’ instead of focusing on a par­ticular ide­ology,” he said.

Born in India, Thanedar said he grew up in a finan­cially strug­gling family, giving him a unique political per­spective. He said he under­stands the anger and frus­tration expressed by the working class in the 2016 pres­i­dential election.

“There was a lot of anger from the working poor,” he said. “Their lives have not improved over the last 10 to 20 years.”

Thanedar said even though Hillsdale County is pre­dom­i­nantly right-leaning, he can offer a finan­cially savvy and com­pas­sionate alter­native.

“I wouldn’t squander money or use tax­payer dollars inef­fi­ciently,” Thanedar said. “And I would do all of this with a heart of com­passion, which we haven’t seen in Lansing for the past seven years.”

The election is more than a year away, but the chairman of the Hillsdale County Democrats,  Mike Sutton, said it is never too early to start giving the can­di­dates attention. Sutton said the group will endorse the can­didate that wins the primary election on Aug. 7, 2018.

Vigelow said despite Hillsdale County’s Repub­lican edge, the Demo­c­ratic group doesn’t see it as a battle.

“We’re just trying to stand up for Demo­c­ratic values. We want to get the Demo­c­ratic voice out there in Hillsdale County,” she said. “It’s small but fierce.”

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Kaylee McGhee
Kaylee McGhee is a junior at Hillsdale College, majoring in Politics with a minor in Journalism. This is her third year writing for the Collegian and served as last semester's City News Editor. Kaylee is currently studying in Washington D.C., where she works for the Weekly Standard and contributes to the Collegian as our D.C. correspondent. Kaylee has also worked as an editorial intern for the Detroit News. Follow her on Twitter: @kmcghee04 email: kmcghee@hillsdale.edu