Hillary Scholten didn't meet a Democrat until high school. Now she's trying to flip a historically red seat

Posted at 10:01 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 23:02:44-04

A little more than two weeks out from Election Day, Democratic Candidate Hillary Scholten is urging voters to make history in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District.

“By electing the first Democrat in almost half a century to represent this district, and the first woman ever,” Scholten said to supporters in GR last week.

Scholten, a West Michigan native, is admittedly a fairly new Democrat.

“As a Christian growing up in West Michigan it was a deeply Republican area. I actually did not know a Democrat until I was a senior in high school. I’ll never forget meeting this person and learning that they were a Democrat and a Christian and thinking, you can do that, that’s allowed here?” Scholten told FOX 17.

Years later, the now mom of two boys is being endorsed by prominent members of the Democratic party in her Congressional campaign.

"We need to make sure we elect Hillary Scholten,” Pete Buttigieg said, while stumping for Joe Biden in Michigan this week.

“In 2020, there is no more important time to fight for the needs of our community. I didn't want to look back on this time and realize that I didn't do everything I possibly could to improve the lives of those in our community,” Scholten explained.

Scholten's background is in immigration law and social work, she once served as attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice under President Barack Obama.

Though throughout her campaign and even more so since the COVID-19 pandemic, she has focused on health care as the key issue facing west Michiganders.

“I can't go to the grocery store without hearing from people about a family member that they have, who is struggling with the high cost of health care, or they're choosing what to put in their grocery cart because of the high cost of prescription drugs,” Scholten said,

Her stance on keeping the Affordable Care Act intact is what she says separates herself most from her opponent Republican Peter Meijer.

“I'll be the first to admit the Affordable Care Act is not perfect and we need to improve on it. But make no mistake that people with preexisting conditions were not protected, before we stepped in and created a law to protect them,” Scholten said.

And in a district that typically votes red, Scholten believes her campaign is gaining momentum in the homestretch.

“We are seeing deep momentum behind our campaign, because I’m someone who's going to put people before politics every single time

We’ll give you an in depth look at her opponent Peter Meijer’s campaign Tuesday night on FOX 17 News at 10.