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Published: Wednesday, 3/10/2010

Zorn contemplates run for state House


IDA, Mich. - With the filing deadline nearly two months away, Dale Zorn is contemplating making a run to oust Rep. Kate Ebli from the Michigan House.

Mr. Zorn, 56, who has been on the Monroe County Board of Commissioners representing District 2 since 1991, last week announced that he has formed an exploratory committee to study launching a campaign as a Republican candidate for the 56th District seat.

"I am taking responses from people hearing what their thoughts are and talking with community leaders to find out what their thoughts are so we can make a decision on whether to proceed," he said.

Jim Altiere, chairman of the Monroe County Republican Party, said Mr. Zorn has been the only person to express interest in the office.

"At this time, no one has shown any serious interest in it. Dale is the only one," Mr. Altiere said.

The filing deadline to run in the Aug. 3 primary is May 11.

Mr. Zorn said he was asked by citizens to consider running for the seat because of the leadership he has demonstrated as a county commissioner and their feeling that changes are needed in Lansing to address the $1.6 billion budget hole.

"The reason I am thinking about becoming a potential candidate is because of the economic climate of Monroe County and the state," he said.

The 56th District encompasses Ida, Raisinville, LaSalle, Monroe, London, Exeter. Frenchtown, and Exeter townships as well as the cities of Monroe and Carleton.

Ms. Ebli, a Democrat, was elected to the House seat in 2006. She leads the tax policy committee and is assigned to the energy and technology, Great Lakes and environment, and tourism, outdoor recreation, and natural resources committees.

Mr. Zorn said if he does decide to run, he will campaign on a platform of reducing taxes and creating incentives for industry and business in the state.

"We are not getting out of the hole the state is in by increasing taxes. That is a failed policy. What would work is to increase the economic base and bring it back to what it was years ago," he said.

"If we had the same economic base that we had 10 years ago, we would not be in the same place we are in today."

He serves as vice chairman of the commissioners and chairman of the finance committee.

Mr. Zorn points to his work on the board of commissioners in cutting $10 million from the budget over the last two years to offset deficit spending.

Mr. Zorn, a lifelong resident of Raisinville Township, started his career in government as a township constable and then was elected trustee to the township board.

He owns and operates Zorn's Garage in Ida, a business that his father began in 1956.

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