DEARBORN — On Thursday, Nov. 2, Wayne County Commission Chairman Gary Woronchak (D-Dearborn) announced he won’t be seeking reelection, after being unopposed for reelection in 2014 and 2016, he plans to run for the third state Senate District in 2018.
The district encompasses Dearborn and Melvindale and includes a portion of Detroit. Sen. Morris Hood, (D-Detroit) can’t seek reelection next year because of term limits.
Woronchak said he believes his experience is much-needed in the legislature’s upper chamber and will have an impact on the senate.
“My experience from different levels of government has prepared me to be an effective legislator for the Third District,” Woronchak said. “That experience uniquely positions me, compared to other candidates, to deliver results as a senator for residents of Detroit, Dearborn and Melvindale.
“I’ve demonstrated my ability to work across partisan divisions in a time when polarization is hurting the legislature’s ability to find common ground solutions to pressing issues.”
Before his election to the Wayne County Commission in 2004, Woronchak was a state representative for six years. His commission district encompasses Dearborn and Allen Park, as well as Melvindale.
In 2011, his fellow commissioners elected him chairman. He’s retained the position ever since.
As chairman, Woronchak led the commission through some of the most challenging times the county was facing,working with Wayne County Executive Warren Evans to help reestablish the county’s fiscal stability after the housing market collapse and recession of 2007-2009 that shook its finances.
When he was a state representative, Woronchak secured an amendment to the state School Aid Act to bring $2.5 million more yearly to Dearborn Public Schools for at-risk programs. The act brought $20 million to the school district before the funding was stopped in 2011.
He also secured a $5 million appropriation for the IMAX theater addition at Henry Ford Museum and a $1 million grant to ACCESS for the building of the Arab American service agency’s health center.
Overall, Woronchak introduced 22 bills in the State House that turned into Public Acts. The bills included helping in the creation of the Michigan Education Savings Program, providing cities with the tools necessary to combat blight, consumer protection related to halal food and campaign finance reform— which led to the electronic filing system that voters continue to use for transparency in campaign donations to elected officials.
Woronchak said the digital campaign outreach will launch early next year. For now, residents can check out his website, www.commissionergary.com, to learn more about him.