Candidate Profile: Sue Shink says love of community led her to seeking County District 2 seat


Democrat Sue Shink, who squares off against Republican Kevin Jardine in the Nov. 6 general election for the Washtenaw County Commission District 2 seat vacated by Michelle Deatrick, says her top priority is to educate decision makers about the beauty of her district and its rural lifestyle.

“I want to do all I can to help preserve the rural way of life in the district,” said Shink, who won the right to run in the general by defeating fellow Democrats Tom Brennan and Rodrick Green in the August primary. “I want other commissioners to know the love that the people who live in the district have for their way of life.”

Shink, a resident of Northfield Township who served on the Township Board of Trustees from 2004-2008, says she wants the county to “stop cutting down ancient trees” and “to concentrate on fixing county roads.”

The county’s 2nd District includes Superior, Salem, Northfield, Webster and Ann Arbor townships, as well as a small part of Ann Arbor.

Shink is a farmer, small businessperson and an attorney who is married to Tom Hatch and has three children – two in college and one in middle school. She received her undergraduate degree in resource policy from the University of Michigan and also received her degree in law from U-M.

She has a long history of participating in community organizations, including chairing the Washtenaw County Agricultural Lands Preservation Advisory Committee, and participating as a volunteer and Donor of Conservation Easement of the Legacy Land Conservancy. She also has worked as an attorney on a pro bono basis for the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center.

Shink also has worked on the Huron River Watershed Council, the St. Clair River Remedial Action Plan Binational Advisory Committee, the Northfield Township Historical Society and she chaired the Northfield Township Land Preservation Committee.

She also has worked with Detroit Horsepower, a group that brings at-risk children together with horses to help build socio-emotional skills.

Shink says it all starts with love of community.

“Every time I talk about why I am running, I start in the same way because it’s true; Washtenaw County is a truly special place, with access to the best of just about everything,” she said. “In District 2, we enjoy open spaces, small farms, tree-lined roads, beautiful vistas and wildlife; all while living near Ann Arbor, Brighton and Ypsilanti with all they have to offer.

“It’s just a great place to live, and I want to help preserve the way of life that we enjoy.”

Over the past months, Shink has been campaigning door-to-door, meeting residents to hear what is important to them.

“Our community is my priority,” she said. “I’ve been meeting with non-profits, citizens, organization to build a coalition to find out who needs what.”

Other than love of community, Shink says a top priority is to make sure people who live in the county – particularly District 2 – receive the resources they need to succeed.

“The county is involved in many areas that are important to so many people’s way of life,” she said. “The county can help small businesses, it can get kids more access to enough food, there are programs to help children succeed in school.

“There are pockets of Washtenaw County where people – particularly at-risk kids – need a boost to succeed,” she said. “As commissioner, I will do everything I can to make sure that resources get to the people who need them most.”

Shink says she is running for Washtenaw County Commissioner on a platform of “hard work and love of community,” something that is evident as she speaks.

“I believe in hard work, and if I am elected I will work hard to do everything I can do to help my community every day I am in office,” she said. “I have not other reason for running.”

For more information on Sue Shink, visit


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