GENESEE COUNTY — Michigan’s 49th State House District will have a new representative following the general election.
On Nov. 6, Democrat John Cherry claimed victory over Republican challenger Patrick Duvendeck. Cherry, the son of former Lieutenant Governor John Darnell Cherry Jr., will succeed term-limited Rep. Phil Phelps, who ran unsuccessfully for State Senate District 32.
“First and foremost, I am grateful to the voters in Michigan’s 49th house district for their vote of confidence in my ability to fight for them in Lansing,” Cherry said. “I am overwhelmed by all of the support I have had from friends and family over the past few months. I want to make a difference for the people in the 49th District and in our state.”
Duvendeck, who had previously run for the 49th District in 2016 and 2013, thanked his supporters for backing his campaign.
“I truly appreciate all of your support,” he said. “Continue to make your voice heard to those in Lansing who will be representing you.”
Cherry, 33, was vice-president on the City of Flint’s Charter Commission and served as the Secretary of the College Cultural Neighborhood Association. He holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and worked for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
As the state representative-elect for the 49th District, Cherry said that his top priority will be to enact policies that will create a prosperous middle class. Better infrastructure, he said, will be key to attracting new businesses and assisting them in achieving success.
Cherry said that expanded education opportunities are also important to boosting the local economy.
“That success also requires a trained and talented workforce,” Cherry said. “We need an education policy that recognizes that a basic education is a
K-14 education—a high school diploma and two years of a post-secondary experience.”
Cherry said he also plans to focus on improving environmental and public health in the Flint area and surrounding communities.
“That (ensuring public health) is a basic responsibility of state government, and Michigan’s failure on that front is legendary,” he said. “I wish to make the effort to modernize and reform Michigan’s legal and institutional commitment to environmental and public health a personal one.”
The 49th House District covers
Flushing, Mt. Morris, Mt. Morris
Township, the City of Flint, Flint
Township and Swartz Creek.