Republican state governor candidate stops at Sandusky diner known for defying COVID-19 orders – The Times Herald

Republican candidate for Michigan governor Tudor Dixon on Thursday stopped at a Sandusky diner known for its defiance of orders to shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Surrounded by campaign aids, restaurant employees and local residents at the Sandusky Diner, Dixon talked in general terms about her campaign’s economic goals.

Dixon said she would slash about 40% of Michigan’s regulatory code to allow small businesses to thrive in the state and foster healthy competition.

“We will refocus our government to take a customer service friendly approach to our entrepreneurs, job creators and everyday citizens,” Dixon said. “We will treat our small business owners as partners.”

Dixon declined to go into detail about what specific regulations would be slashed, but said her team would review the entire regulatory code to weed out unnecessary regulations that hinder business.

Shane Hernandez, Dixon’s running mate, said their administration would also partner with small businesses to come up with ideas to help business owners thrive in their specific geographic area.

“That’s the first thing you can do from the executive office is you set the executives of the department and making sure that they bring people like (Tank) in to talk to them and ask, how do we work for your specific area to make sure we don’t have one-size-fits-all ideas because Sandusky is different than Port Huron is different than Detroit,” Hernandez said. “We want to partner with our small businesses for ideas.”

Troy Tank, operating owner of the Sandusky Diner, formerly Big Boy, said he is concerned about overregulation, high taxes and soaring inflation. As the cost of items like produce, meat, utilities and wages rise, it eats into an already thin profit margin.

“There is no middle ground left,” Tank said. “If you’re paying more in wages and you’re paying more in utilities and you’re paying more for food, there is nothing left at the end of the day.”

Tank was managing the restaurant when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the state ordered all restaurants to close for dine-in, citing concerns over the spread of the virus.

When the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services ordered restaurants to close dine-in services again in November 2020 after restaurants were allowed to open again for several months, Tank refused to close his restaurant until he was issued a court order the following month.

According to Tudor Dixon’s campaign website, other economic policy initiatives include:

  • Phase out Michigan’s personal income tax over time. Dixon’s campaign says this will give residents more control over their finances and make Michigan more competitive with states that don’t have personal income tax, such as Florida, Texas and Tennessee.
  • Expand public-private partnerships between the education system and the private sector to increase workforce training opportunities and create a state-level plan to expose more students to skilled trades and other high-paying career opportunities.
  • Analyze all Michigan’s corporate incentive programs created over the last decade to determine their efficacy and efficiency and make decisions about how to reform or remove them.

Contact Laura Fitzgerald at (810) 941-7072 or lfitzgeral@gannett.com.

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