Slagh and Banks face off in 90th state House District race

OTTAWA COUNTY, MI — State Rep. Bradley Slagh, R-Zeeland, will face Democratic challenger Christopher Banks in the Nov. 3 general election for Michigan’s 90th House District seat.

The conservative-leaning district in Ottawa County includes Holland, Zeeland, Hudsonville and Jamestown Township.

The candidates vying for the two-year seat are: State Rep. Bradley Slagh, R-Zeelend; and Democrat Christopher Banks, a quality assurance professional who lives in Holland.

Meet the two candidates:

  • Bradley Slagh, 63, of Zeeland, is the incumbent state representative for the 90th District. He earned a degree in business administration and a teaching certificate from Hope College. In addition to his first term as state representative, Slagh worked in finance for 18 years, served as Zeeland Township supervisor for six years and as Ottawa County treasurer for 12 years.
  • Christopher Banks, 44, of Holland, works in the manufacturing industry. Banks, in response to questions about his education, listed Ross Medical Education Center, Davenport University and Dale Carnegie. Banks has experience as a mentor, counselor and as an ordained minister.

MLive Media Group partnered with the League of Women Voters of Michigan to provide candidate information for readers. Each candidate was asked to outline their stances on a variety of public policy issues.

Information on all state and federal races and many of Michigan’s county and local races is available at Vote411.org, an online voter guide created by the League of Women Voters.

Below are Slagh and Banks’ unedited responses to six policy questions on issues ranging from education to economic security:

What is your position on the role of public funding of education in Michigan? What measures do you support/propose to improve educational outcomes and accessibility for all Michigan students?

Slagh: Quality education for every Michigan child should be the expectation. We need flexibility in the options including traditional public, public academies, private or parochial schools and home schooling. To improve we must allow innovation, best practices and flexibility for instructors. It needs to include on-line, possibly year round options, and the Governor’s recent Executive Orders eliminated almost 100 specific education expectations, and if they were not necessary in a Pandemic they should all be reviewed and many likely permanently jettisoned.

Banks: I believe that we have to invest in our children by wholly supporting public schools. Funding privately owned charter schools at the expense of public schools, is not good practice. I propose a more definitive structure in pre-school education by introducing young people to other languages, reading and comprehension. Using a “hooked on phonics” approach is one way we will help our students. Adding budgeting courses to elementary would also be a great asset. If we prepare our youth for the global stage, we will gain more than loss in my humble opinion. They will progress beyond what we can conceive.

What policies do you support to increase jobs and help Michigan residents improve their economic positions, in general and given the pandemic?

Slagh: Reduce state and local ordinances, laws and rules as they increase the cost of

Read more