High school senior aims for county commission seat

Posted at 11:28 PM, Apr 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-18 23:28:22-04

KENT COUNTY, Mich. - A high school senior plans on running for Kent County Commission's 7th District seat after graduation.

18-year-old Logan Arkema initially got involved in politics thanks to his history and government teacher at Byron Center High School. Arkema told FOX17 he wants to give the youth a voice in the Grandville-Wyoming area.

"It's good to have a fresh voice at the table and I think people will appreciate that," Arkema said.

His interest in politics now leading him to be the first democratic candidate running for Kent County Commission 7th district since 2010. Arkema wants to attend college at Georgetown while simultaneously leading the 7th district via video conferencing tools.

"I still have to attend college to do what's best for me outside of the district, but I also want to do what's best for the people of Grandville, Wyoming and Kent County by contributing my ideas through Skype or Google Hangout," said Arkema.

Arkema said he anticipates leading the next generation of politics by using this technology to connect with the people of Kent County during his time in college. His number one fan is his mother, Christy Tripp-Arkema.

"I'm flabbergasted and amazed because my husband and I have no real passion for politics," said Tripp-Arkema. "His whole life has been about justice and righteousness, and I don't like to brag but he's an amazing peacemaker. He thinks very rationally and I could picture him as a judge someday."

The Republican incumbent, Stan Ponstein has a similar story. He ran for the school board at 19, in 1980. In order to keep the 7th district chair, Ponstein needs to win the primaries before running against Arkema in the general election: saying we need more people to become interested in local politics.

"I am all set for the youth to step-up," said Ponstein. "So many people are disillusioned with out the political system works. A lot of people want nothing to do with politics and that's a really sad state of where our county and community is at."