State Representative 49th District

Attempts were made to contact every candidate in each race. These are the responses we received. – G.G.

Name: John Cherry

Age: 33

Hometown: Flint, MI

Family: Married to Teresa Villacorta, one young daughter, Diana

Occupation: MI Department of Natural Resources Performance Manager Coordinator

Political experience: Flint Charter Commission – Vice Chair.

Education: Bachelor’s Degree Natural Resources, Master’s Degree Public Policy both from U of M – Ann Arbor

Tell voters what you consider to be the most important issues facing your community and how you will address them if elected: My number one priority is the enactment of policies to create a prosperous middle class. Nearly a quarter of the workforce in Genesee County earns an hourly wage of $10 or less. That is simply not a wage in which you can raise a family with any level of security. I support an increase in the minimum wage. Michigan needs infrastructure that will attract businesses and assist them in achieving success. That success also requires a trained and talented workforce.

Over the past two decades we have seen a steady decline in our communities’ ability to provide basic services to its citizens. We need to reform Michigan’s municipal finance system to provide for stable, strong communities that have enough funding to do the basic work of government. Neighborhoods and business cannot thrive unless our community is financially stable and safe.

Name: Justin B. Dickerson

Age: 39

Hometown: Flushing, Michigan

Family: Married to Dr. Randi Ballard- Dickerson (11 years)…I have two children: Langston (9) and Harper (4)

Occupation: High School Principal

Political experience: None

Education: BA, MA, ED.S

Tell voters what you consider to be the most important issues facing your community and how you will address them if elected: I believe we need to be better as people. We need to work together and respect everyone from all walks of life. Politicians need to work together for the benefit of the people and not for self-serving interests. All this Democrat vs. Republican and left vs. right nonsense is so divisive and takes the focus of what is really important.

I have made a career out of going into tough situations and getting everyone to work together in the best interests of students. If given the opportunity I would take the same approach to tackling the issues that are plaguing most of us (poor roads, student loan debt, lack of decent paying jobs in the area and affordable college for all)

Name: Dayne Walling

Age: 44

Hometown: Flint, MI

Family: Married to Carrie, 2 sons Bennett (17) and Emery (13)

Occupation: Manager, 21Performance Policy & Management Consulting and Adjunct Faculty at Kettering University and Baker College

Political experience: Served as Flint Mayor 2009-2015

Education: Flint Central High School (1992)

BA in Social Relations, Michigan State University (1996)

BA in Modern History, University of Oxford (1998)

MA in Contemporary Urban Affairs, University of London (1999)

ABD in Doctorate in Geography from University of Minnesota (2006)

Tell voters what you consider to be the most important issues facing your community and how you will address them if elected: I will work for you every day to get government back on the side of the people. Every community deserves good schools, safe roads, clean water, a healthy environment and a wide range of job opportunities. As your representative, I will search for common sense solutions and find common ground on policies that truly serve the people of Michigan and our communities in Genesee County. My priorities are better schools, good roads, and a strong economy. In education, every child deserves access to early learning. Every high school graduate should be ready for a career and college. With infrastructure, we need a 21st Century system along with innovative policies for fair funding. We can fix the roads by changing the outdated funding formula and creating a state infrastructure bank, which will also help address water problems. Finally, a growing economy depends on having the best workers which means fair wages, strong unions, paid sick leave, and safety and training standards. I will be continually adding to my policy platform. There are many challenges we must address around health, safety, transparency, fiscal responsibility, the environment and more. I want to hear from you so contact me at and 810-280-7684.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *