HOLLAND â€” Lifelong Ottawa County resident Orlando Estrada is running for a seat in Michiganâ€™s House of Representatives to take on issues the people care about, such as high auto insurance rates.
“Priority one is no-fault car insurance because it still has not been reformed,â€ť Estrada said. â€śWe are still the most expensive state in the nation when it comes to car insurance rates.â€ť
Estrada is running for Michiganâ€™s 90th District House seat. He will face Ottawa County Treasurer Bradley Slagh in the Republican primary on Aug. 7.
The winner will face Democrat Christopher Banks, a manufacturing worker at LG Chem, in the Nov. 6 general election.
The 90th District includes Holland, Hudsonville, Zeeland and the townships of Holland, Jamestown and Zeeland. Estrada is a resident of Holland.
The seat is currently held by State Rep. Daniela Garcia, R-Holland, who announced in October she is running for Michiganâ€™s 30th Senate District seat.
Estrada is a driver for ride share companies Uber and Lyft, so the cost of auto insurance, gas and registration of vehicles is a big concern for him.
“My goal is to make sure people can keep more of their money,â€ť Estrada said. â€śPeople know how to better spend their money to take care of their families than the government.”
Estrada is also an educator and teaches college students, corporations and military bases about the dangers of distracted driving.
He ran for the 90th House District seat in 2014, but was defeated by the incumbent candidate Garcia by 65.98 percent of the votes, according to the Michigan Secretary of State.
“My message has consistent and I have learned a lot about statewide policy from two years ago,â€ť Estrada said. “People are looking for someone who is not necessarily in office, but is knowledgeable about what they are talking about.”
Estrada said loopholes within the auto insurance system need to be closed and people involved across the system need to work together to bring the rates down.
â€śBills are not passing to fix this issue and it’s taking way too long,â€ť Estrada said.
If elected, Estrada said he would work to lower or get rid of Michiganâ€™s state income tax.
“The state of Texas doesn’t have a state income tax and their economy is thriving,â€ť Estrada said. â€śWe can reduce the state income tax or get rid of it and prioritize the budget and spending.”
High school students need to be taught about credit scores, how to do taxes, other types of financial planning and â€ślife skills,â€ť Estrada said.
In addition, schools in Michigan need to encourage students to look at alternatives to four year colleges, such as vocational school, Estrada said.
“If someone likes woodshop, wielding or computer coding those don’t necessarily need a four-year degree,â€ť Estrada said. â€śThose are skilled trade type jobs and students need to know about those options.â€ť
Estrada said he will use social media to post videos and get information out to the voters. He also plans on continuing visiting residents door-to-door to introduce himself to those living in the 90th District.
â€” Follow this reporter on Twitter @SentinelJake.