A Howell Township resident who describes himself as a realistic optimist has filed for the 50th House seat.
Austin Breuer, 27, says he will focus on returning integrity to the office and working to make people’s lives better, while bringing a new generation of leadership to the post.“I was born between the Millennial generation and Gen Z so I can relate to both generations, while respecting members of the earlier generations,” he said. “The younger generations have a lot at stake in the future of the state of Michigan, and as someone who is a reasonable person who desires to represent the best interests of the people, I feel as though I am uniquely suited to be a force for positive change in Lansing. “I consider myself to be a ‘realistic optimist’ - someone who truly believes in change for the better, and yet understands that our system of government does not change rapidly. But I believe strongly that we can achieve success for people over time.”
Breuer grew up in Livingston County and graduated from Howell High School. He graduated with honors from Lansing Community College and will receive a bachelor’s degree in history, with a minor in public law and government, from Eastern Michigan University in the spring of 2024. Breuer has worked at Jonnas Market since 2015, starting out as a member of the stock team and moving up to manage the department. The experience has made him a strong supporter of small and local businesses. He is the only person to file for the Democratic nomination for the 50th House seat.
Breuer said he wants to find ways to reduce expenses for people, while also maximizing the return on their tax dollars. “Issues important to me include education spending and increasing pay for teachers, as well as increasing access to affordable health care while reducing costs. For me, transportation, from roads to public infrastructure and services, are personally very important,” he said. “Seeing friends and family go without insurance, or encountering situations in which insurance would not cover necessary medical procedures or prescriptions is frustrating to no end, and combating these issues is a top priority for me,” Breuer said.
Protecting reproductive freedom is also important to Breuer so that women do not have to worry about their own health after the repeal of Roe v. Wade. To address climate change, Breuer supports moving away from coal and oil to nuclear, wind, and solar power, as well as expanding public transportation to reduce emissions from vehicles.
On gun safety, Breuer said he supports a limited assault weapons ban, with an exception for gun ranges. “Americans should be able to use weapons such as an AR15 in a gun range, if they have the desire, but that freedom does not extend to our schools and streets. The Second Amendment provides for a well-regulated militia. The well-regulated aspect is important in protecting the safety of the American people,” he said. He also advocates forward-thinking solutions, such as fingerprint locks on new guns, better background checks, and a focus on cracking down on the illegal sale and transfer of guns.
Breuer said he also supports improving the system of aid to veterans to make sure they know what benefits are available to them, raising the pay for law enforcement officers along with better training, and indexing the minimum wage to inflation. “Basic economics states that if people have more money to spend, then they will spend that money on the things they want and need, thus cycling money back into the economy,” he said. “The policies of “trickle-down” economics have been proven not to benefit the average working American time and time again. It is time to invest in the American working class.”
On LGBTQ+ rights, Breuer said access to gender-related information, healthcare, and inclusivity should be protected and anti-discrimination laws expanded. “Government should not dictate the lives of its citizens for them, but rather it should protect the most vulnerable and provide for equality in the workplace, in healthcare, in education, and in opportunity for all, without infringing on the rights of others,” he said.
The 50th House District includes the city of Howell and the village of Fowlerville, plus the townships of Cohoctah, Conway, Deerfield, Handy, Hartland, Howell, Iosco, Marion, Oceola, Unadilla, southern Tyrone Township, and the north and west parts of Putnam Township.