LANSING, Mich. — The race to represent the Lansing area in Congress is on.
State Sen. Tom Barrett threw his hat in the ring on Monday announcing he will face off against U.S Representative Elissa Slotkin.
Barrett served in the army for 21 years, though he announced his plan to leave this week in protest over mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. He has also worked in politics in the Michigan House and Senate.
Because Michigan's redistricting process is ongoing, it's not totally clear just what this new district will look like. Maps have not been finalized and it's possible that Slotkin's home in Holly could no longer be part of Lansing's district. Slotkin is currently looking to move into Lansing.
“I decided to run for Congress because I was so distraught about what I was seeing out of the Biden administration and that collapse of leadership in Washington, D.C," Barrett said.
Barrett said the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and vaccine mandates were two major reasons he wanted to run for Congress.
“In addition to that, we’ve seen our southern border completely undefended, and we have violent crime on the rise in our communities right here at home in mid-Michigan, right here in Lansing," he said.
Barrett also wants to tackle nationwide problems.
“The biggest issues that people are facing right now is the cost of inflation that just astronomical rising costs of everything that we're seeing, energy costs are absolutely out of control," he said. "And then the federal debt and the deficit.”
Barrett has been a vocal critic of President Joe Biden but he said he's willing to work with him.
“I'm certainly not in agreement with our governor on a vast number of issues, but I've been able to accomplish quite a bit, not just for my constituents, but overall in the state of Michigan," he said "I've had multiple bills signed into law already by this governor as well as by past governors. I'm willing to work with colleagues toward a common objective at any point and in any time that I see that."
Barrett plans to continue his record of voting independently from his party.
“I have one of the most independent voting records of any member of the Legislature. I voted against my own party more than 250 times," he said. "I’m willing to work toward a common objective of what I think is the right thing to do for our country.”