May 9 2006 12:00 AM
Full 'House': Lansing attorney Patrick Baker, a former aide to state Rep. Paul DeWeese, R-Williamston, has entered the fray in the 68th District Democratic primary election to replace state Rep. Michael Murphy, D-Lansing. (Courtesy Elbinger Studios)

Baker, 42, worked for former Gov. John Engler's legal division, former state Rep. Paul DeWeese, R-Williamston, and the federal courts. He's also worked within the former Michigan Department of Labor. Now, he's in private practice.

The 14-year resident of Lansing and Lansing Township admitted that he's kept a low profile as he's assembled his campaign team and listened to people's concerns and issues. With the filing deadline only days away, Baker is becoming more visible.{mosimage}

“I have a strong passion for the common good of Michigan and its future,” said Baker, a father of four. “I'm alarmed by the lack of sufficient leadership in the face of tumultuous times. I want to do my part.”

This will be Baker's first run for public office, but he has election experience working on DeWeese's state Senate campaign. He said he admired DeWeese's independent streak, but his own views lean more Democratic.

“The times we face require us to set aside blind partisan loyalty for the good of the people,” Baker said. “They don't need Republican answers of Democratic answers. They need answers that work.”

Baker said he's bothered by the talk of eliminating the state's Single Business Tax without a firm replacement. He's concerned about further erosion of the state's social safety net and doesn't like seeing business shift its tax burden onto an already unhealthy state budget.

The large field of candidates is not a concern, Baker said. Rather, he said he's happy to see so many others putting themselves forward to help the community. In addition to Baker, that list consists of Jerry Hollister, Joan Bauer, Chris Lewless, Diana Rouse and Melissa Sue Robinson.

“I don't know about the other candidates, but I do know about me,” Baker said.

“I have experience in all three branches of government," Baker said. "I have over a decade of legal experience, listening to clients' needs and serving them. I'm convinced that I'm up to the task of serving all of the people of Michigan and the people of the 68th District.”

— Kyle Melinn

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