Last year, my son came home to tell me that his best friend in the neighborhood was moving because his parents sold their house to the bank. I remember thinking about the stress and anxiety this child's parents went through in the process of losing their home.
Today, that house is one of three homes on that street sitting vacant. And the children who lived in those homes won't be building their futures in Michigan.
My wife, Carol, and I were born and raised in Redford Township. Carol's mother and my parents still live there. And my wife and I are raising our four children there. We are committed to Michigan's future.
For 10 years prior to entering public service, I worked with businesses struggling to compete in the new economy. And as Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, I have worked hard in a bipartisan way to promote economic development and good new jobs in our state.
I know what businesses need to compete in the 21st century and what government can do to help them - especially the small and startup businesses that create most of our new jobs. With the right focus and dedication, Michigan can create the environment for businesses to not only survive, but thrive in the new global economy - while providing new opportunities for our workers, families and communities.
As the next governor of Michigan, I will work tirelessly to bring people together. I will call upon Republicans and Democrats. I will enlist help from both the public and private sectors. And I will urge both labor and management to join the battle to restore this wonderful state we all love.
We have been knocked down. But anyone counting us out is making a serious mistake. Our people have the heart for this fight. We have the intellectual resources and spiritual strength to win it. And with your help and support, win it we will.