Student running in 2012 election

An Eastern Michigan University student is running to be a state representative for Michigan’s 17th District.

Brian Hensley will run for office as a Democrat after he graduates from EMU in April with a double major in political science and social studies.

According to Hensley, his current GPA is 3.41, but he expects it to increase at the end of the semester.

Hensley’s platform is based foremost on what he said was the biggest issue: the economy.

“I believe all other issues stem from the economy,” he said.

Though he said he believes in a free market, Hensley stressed that it must be regulated.

“I believe that the free market works, but I also believe that unchecked, those who control markets can do devastating damage as I experienced personally in 2008,” Hensley said. “I am firmly against right-to-work legislation and I stand for common sense labor and bargaining laws.”

In opposition to Governor Rick Snyder’s cuts to higher education, Hensley said he thought funding for universities should be increased.

“The governor has used some slippery tactics in order to achieve education cuts, so as a representative, if elected, the task at hand is to stop the bleeding,” he said. “Only then can we begin to rebuild Michigan’s educational system.”

Hensley said he thought EMU especially deserves more funding.

“Funding across the board needs to be increased,” he said. “Eastern in particular should be rewarded because they’ve managed to keep tuition lower than other in-state institutions while still remaining competitive.”

Hensley stressed it’s difficult to forecast how much Michigan’s budget for higher education funding will change after this year’s election, but that EMU’s funding could be increased through grants and loans.

“If it wasn’t for Eastern, I don’t think I’d have had the intellectual ground to stand on to run for office,” he said. “I knew the issues before I came here, but what I learned helped me articulate the issues more clearly.”

Among the many ways that EMU benefited him, Hensley said EMU’s professors were his “biggest asset in preparing me to run for office.”

For more information about Hensley and his campaign, visit

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