Editor's note: This letter previously ran with an incorrect title. It has been corrected here, but the print edition remains incorrect. 

Editor, The Messenger,

We are fortunate to have a candidate born and raised in Athens County running for Senate District 30 against incumbent Frank Hoagland. I got to know Michael Fletcher the last couple of years through a weekly Lunch and Learn forum where experts presented on issues of concern and discussions ensued. Michael was quiet, but attentive. He would share his perspective, but not dominate the discourse. I have heard many times, meeting with citizens “no one is listening to us..politicians from up North don’t seem to give a damn about Southeast Ohio”.

Well, I can guarantee you – Michael does care!

His history as an EMT brought him into the trenches of the opioid crisis. As a keen observer he took note of where the health care system needs to be fixed. Mike’s history in finance also brings practical knowledge of how to balance a budget. As the father of five now adult children, he understands the need for adequate funding for public education as well as preserving clean air and water for the next generation.

As the majority of Republicans hold fast to the mythology of trickle down economics, and the 1% hold enormous power and influence on our elected officials, those in good conscience begin to reevaluate. Michael is well aware that the party he once belonged to no longer embraces basic aspects of fiscal conservatism, and has become beholden to corporate elites. He may be a good listener but he will not be SILENT in the face of corruption, or mismanagement of our hard earned tax dollars. Because he is an avid reader I know I can trust him to do his homework before he would ever vote on any policy effecting our day to day lives.

I recall a rainy day last February when we loaded cars with bags from the food pantry. Michael was there, not as a politician wanting a photo op, but doing what he has done from the time he was a young man, following in his father’s footsteps, serving others. Government doesn’t function well without checks and balances, and with the gerrymandering of our district we have had enough of politicians without regard for all of their constituents. Michael Fletcher will bring integrity, empathy, hard work, and civility, to the Senate-please support him as you vote.

Janalee Stock Retired RN


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