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Andrew Fink, Repub­lican can­didate for Michi­gan’s 58th House Dis­trict. Facebook | Andrew Fink

As a Hillsdale College student 15 years ago, Andrew Fink rocked out on the guitar with his band, Street Fight, and con­tem­plated moving to Nashville to pursue music pro­fes­sionally.

“Music was my scene. I alter­nated between long hair and a shaved head with side­burns down to here,” Fink recalled, ges­turing to his jaw. “That was kind of the vibe we were all going for.”

A lot has changed since then. Fink has traded his punk style for a gray suit and dark-rimmed glasses. From his law office at 42 Union St., just steps away from Rough Draft, he dreams not of Nashville but rather Lansing, Michigan.

Fink is running as the Repub­lican nominee to rep­resent Michigan’s 58th Dis­trict in the State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. 

“My wife and I have five kids. As a co-creator of the next gen­er­ation, I decided that if I didn’t at least attempt to influence the sit­u­ation for the better, I would probably regret it forever,” he said. “That’s why I’m running.”   

Born and raised in blue-collar Ypsi­lanti, Michigan, Fink was home­schooled from kinder­garten through high school. An avid sports fan, he grew up watching Uni­versity of Michigan college bas­ketball games and wrestling matches. Despite his love for the maize and blue, however, attending a big school was never on the table.   

“I didn’t even think about it and reject the idea,” he said. “It just never occurred to me.”

Instead, Fink wanted to go to a liberal arts school within a day’s drive from home.

“I deter­mined pretty quickly after vis­iting Hillsdale that if I wanted to study pol­itics, this is where I wanted to be,” Fink said. “It became my No. 1 choice.”

Fink brought 45 com­munity college credits to Hillsdale, allowing him to graduate in three years. He majored in pol­itics and his favorite pro­fessors were Mickey Craig and Nathan Schlueter, who helped form his phi­losophy on the Con­sti­tution, gov­ernment, and America’s founding prin­ciples. He worked in the Writing Center, served on Student Fed­er­ation, per­formed with Street Fight, and, during his last semester of college, joined the Phi Mu Alpha music fra­ternity.

Fol­lowing his grad­u­ation in 2006, Fink worked on U.S. Rep­re­sen­tative Tim Walberg ®’s suc­cessful con­gres­sional cam­paign. A month after the election, he took the LSAT exam and even­tually went to the Uni­versity of Michigan, his top choice for law school.

Fink was in his first year at Michigan when he called Lauren Grover ’07, a friend from his college days who was living in Texas, and the two began talking reg­u­larly. A year and a half later, they were married, and that winter they wel­comed their first baby. 

As a married man, new father, and law student, Fink had plenty on his plate, but he still felt called to do more.   

“I had always thought about joining the Marines,” Fink said.

The mil­itary is in his blood: One of his mother’s cousins and Fink’s childhood role model was a sergeant in the Marines, and another cousin was a colonel in the Air Force. Fink grew up viewing mil­itary service as an “hon­orable and impressive and American way to be.” After the 9/11 attacks, Fink wanted to join himself — despite being only 16.   

“I told my mother I was going to talk to a recruiter. I remember walking out of the house and down to the recruiting station in Ypsi­lanti and my mother calling my dad going, ‘Do you know where your son is going right now?’” he recalled with amusement. “I think my dad was less freaked out by that idea than my mom was.”

Luckily for her, the recruiting station had moved and Fink didn’t know where it was. But his desire to serve never went away. As a law student, Fink recalled that the mil­itary needs lawyers too, so he joined the Marine Corps and worked as a judge advocate.

Although Fink has retired from active duty, his love of country hasn’t changed. It’s what inspired him to run for office.

“I think a big thing that’s hap­pening right now is a fun­da­mental dif­ference in how we look at American political life,” Fink said. “I come back to a reded­i­cation to respecting our cit­izens as free and equal to the gov­ernment offi­cials rep­re­senting them and respecting the rights of these people to their own liberty and pursuit of hap­piness.”

A self-described Christian and social and fiscal con­ser­v­ative, Fink lists his top issues as dis­man­tling eco­nomic cen­tral­ization, pro­moting the right to life, and avoiding poor gov­ernment financial deci­sions. Ulti­mately, however, his passion for Hillsdale moti­vates him more than any­thing else.  

“If I say, ‘It’s the people,’ will you think it’s disin­genuous?” Fink won­dered, referring to the town’s longtime motto. “The reason we live here is because we want to live in Hillsdale. It’s because we want to raise our kids in this area. We just love the com­munity and feel more at home here.”

Fink hopes his sen­timent will res­onate with voters come November.

“As an adult,” he said, “I’ve basi­cally spent all of my life trying to get back to Hillsdale.”