MANISTIQUE, Mich. (WJMN) – As the 108th District Seat in Michigan’s House of Representatives is set to open this year due to term limits on incumbent Beau LaFave, five candidates have entered the race for the office. Dave Prestin is one of four candidates running for the Republican nomination to be decided in Michigan’s August 2 primary election.
Prestin was previously a long-time business owner, most recently purchasing the Cedar River Plaza in 2007 and running the business with his wife for ten years. After selling the business, Prestin went back to school to become a medical first responder. He also serves as a Menominee County Commissioner and is a board member for the Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association. He says his experience working with other community members and leaders has brought him insight into issues facing many U.P communities.
“This seat, as well as all the seats, whether it be Senate or House of Representatives, specifically in the state of Michigan, it needs somebody with experience,” Prestin said. “Somebody with experience in county issues, township issues. My wife is a township treasurer. I was on the planning commission for our township. Three and a half years on the County Board has brought me in tune with a lot of the issues that are plaguing counties across Michigan.”
Prestin says that the cost of living has quickly become a prominent issue on the minds of voters he’s met with on the campaign trail. These problems tie into an issue Prestin hopes to address in office: the struggle for young adults and those on fixed incomes to make a life for themselves in the UP without needing to move elsewhere.
“One of the things that frustrates me most about the UP is the lack of opportunity to keep the people here,” Prestin said. “To keep kids that want to stay here and find them good jobs. I see it in the EMS industry because, in becoming a paramedic, I’m continuously reminding my employer that the UP has some of the greatest people. They’re awesome paramedics and EMTs and they want to stay in the region, but there’s just not opportunity for them. So I think that’s my biggest concern is to try to create, foster opportunity in the UP to help put the UP on a more stable economic footing.”
For Prestin, his track record of working alongside others to reach goals is what he believes will help him to find success in Lansing.
“It’s really based on accomplishments and the accomplishments are built on consensus. So I found not only in turning businesses around, but also working with fellow board members, trying to build consensus and talking to them about the issues, building consensus amongst your peers to try to bring action and or legislation to bear that can actually have a direct impact on Michiganders lives, specifically Yoopers lives is the path forward.”
Prestin believes that combination of experience and teamwork is what will help set him apart in the campaign and allow him to get work done in the limited timetable a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives provides.
“That is what I feel sets me apart. All the candidates are like-minded, good-hearted people that just want to do the right thing. But the bottom line is, in Michigan, you have six years,” Prestin said. “You have six years at most, if you’re re-elected, to try to get something accomplished in Lansing. I know the issues. I know how to build consensus. I’ve worked in board-style structures that are heavily governed by Robert’s Rules. I’m ready to hit the ground running.”