Rep. Al Pscholka and Kate Upton celebrate U.S. Rep. Fred Upton's victory over challenger Mike O'Brien Tuesday night at Silver Beach Shadowland in St. Joseph.

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Fred Upton defeats Mike O’Brien

Published 11:59pm Tuesday, November 6, 2012

President Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday and so did U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph.

Upton, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, withstood a challenge by Douglas Democrat Mike O’Brien, a reconnaissance Marine and Herman Miller development director.

Upton led O’Brien with more than 15,000 votes in Cass and Berrien counties to 8,700 for the challenger.

Upton, first elected in 1987 by upsetting Mark Siljander in his first try at public office, listed his top priorities as working hard to secure families’ futures by supporting local job creation, insuring Michigan businesses have what they need to put Michigan back on track and supporting an “all of the above” energy plan.

To address the federal deficit, he espouses a constitutional balanced budget amendment, the presidential line-item veto and an earmark ban.

Upton supports full repeal of Obama’s “massive health-care takeover, which is misguided and dangerous. Instead, we need common-sense reforms that drive down costs, such as medical liability reform, allowing consumers to purchase coverage across state lines and expanding Health Savings Accounts.

On energy, Upton is a leading supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline, which he says will create good-paying jobs and help fortify U.S. energy security.

To lessen hyper partisan gridlock, Upton said the “vast majority” of bills his committee passed enjoyed bipartisan support. “On every bill I’ve pursued, I’ve tried my best to reach across the other side of the aisle.”

His legislative priorities are reducing the regulatory burden on small business to helping address rising health and energy costs, jobs and southwest Michigan’s economy. The House passed his bipartisan FDA reform bill to streamline the federal approval process for drugs and medical devices so “Michigan manufacturers can better compete, create jobs, innovate and serve patients.”

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