Chesterfield Township resident Don Volaric thinks his odds of beating a political titan may have improved, thanks to congressional .
Volaric, who lost the 12th District race against Congressman Sander Levin in 2010, has an exploratory committee weighing whether he could face off against the longtime politician in 2012. This time, he would be running in the newly drawn 9th District, encompassing some more Republicans and adding part of Macomb County.
"It's huge," Volariac said of the new district prospectives. "This is a toss-up race now."
However, last year he was considered a long shot, grabbing about 35% of the overall vote and it's unclear whether he can raise enough money this year to hinder Levin's chances.
"Obviously I did this in 2010 as someone who knew nothing about the industry," the township resident said. "This is a whole different ball game."
Volaric, who lives two blocks outside of the district, calls himself an "independent-thinker on the Republican ticket" with private sector knowledge while Levin is well-known Democrat who has served as congressman since the early 1980s. He is also the brother of high-profile U.S. Sen. Carl Levin.
"I'm going against a legend; he's the guy," Volaric said. "The Levins here in Michigan are like the Kennedys in Massachusetts."
Reasons for Second Run
As owner of Clinton Township-based Freedom Health Insurance Agency, the 49-year-old Volaric says he was motivated to intially run for public office on the heels of conversations regarding federal health care reform.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given his profession, he is opposed to universal health care coverage and wants to ensure the viability of independent policies. And, he says, he is the person to fix the industry. Doing so would require lower rates, better benefits, making sure all policy holders are national carriers and simplifying payment processes, he said.
"It would be fixed right when the only thing that determines the health insurance is the healthy people," he said.
In terms of social issues, Volaric is anti-abortion and against same-sex marriage. As for education, he wants teachers to receive merit pay for student achievement and not for length of service.
Background on Businessman
Volaric was born in Detroit to a teenage mother, but he didn't let early life hardships stop him from finding success as a businessman.
"My mom had me at 17 years old; my real dad was a dead-beat dad straight up," he said.
In adulthood, he worked in the digital media industry in San Diego. He's also worked as a GMAC loan officer before opening up his health insurance company on Hall Road several years ago.
He lives in Chesterfield Township with his wife and their two children, ages 5 and 3. When he's not figuring out how to unseat Levin or running his business, Volaric enjoys boating, woodworking and outdoor activities with his family.