Through encouragement from members of his community, Cody Bailey, Garden City senior, is running for State Representative in his hometown, the 11th district of Michigan in the November 2012 elections.
Bailey is running as a Democrat; his platform is based on small business growth.
“Small businesses create 70 percent of jobs, so I’m focused on small business growth,” said Bailey. “I believe that the government has no overall role with work. Their role is to provide better taxes and regulation for that growth to happen and their other job is to provide a stronger education and infrastructure.”
Besides encouragement, Bailey’s background in job creation and businesses are some of his deciding factors to run. He helps with his family business Sparks Auto Service and Towing and played a vital role in the Albion Student Venture Board which brought Makin Crepes, the Coffee House and DK Cookies to life last school year. He entered the race last July of 2011.
Currently his endorsements include Sen. Glenn Anderson, D-Westland, Dearborn Heights Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton and Garden City Councilwoman Joanne Dodge. He raised about $20,000 in 2011 and is looking for $50,000 for the next year.
The 11th district incumbent Bob Constan is term-limited so will not be up for reelection. This means Bailey is up against a fellow Democrat David Knezek. Knezek is a former United States Marine finishing up his senior year at University of Michigan – Dearborn studying Political Science and Secondary Education.
Bailey identifies the negativity of the race as the hardest part of the campaign.
“The level of negativity that the race has sunk to is difficult, I am constantly called a Republican, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said Bailey. “Other than that I am called a ‘trust-fund baby’ that is out of touch with reality and they question my residency though I own a house there with my brother…because of my parents’ divorce.”
His father, Gary Bailey, sees the positive side to the race.
“(The best things is) his enjoyment, the fun that I see him having and the experience he is receiving that will follow him throughout his life,” said G. Bailey. “This campaign, regardless of outcome, is going to map out the rest of his life as far as his belief system.”
Besides his opposition, running a campaign from campus has been difficult for Bailey.
“This week I’ve been home three out of the four days so far,” said Bailey. “I literally go to class, then put on a suit, go home and meet with people. But it’s worth the work.”
His future plans, if he wins the election, include creating a better job environment by asking the speaker of the house to create a small business and entrepreneurship committee and possess a leadership role with that. He wants to continue as a public servant. If he does not win in November, he plans on going to the private sector with his family but to keep active and involved in his community.