BIG RAPIDS — A second contender has entered the running for the position of state representative for the 102ndDistrict, which includes Mecosta, Wexford and part of Osceola counties.

Ormand Hook announced his candidacy for state representative Thursday. Hook is a school psychologist in the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District and a member of both the Mecosta and Osceola County Republican Parties

The seat currently is held by Rep. Phil Potvin, R, Cadillac, who is term-limited from running for the position again.

Although he plans to let the voices of voters inform his platform over the coming months, leveling the playing field for businesses is Hook’s number one priority.

“I believe in free enterprise,” Hook said. “Any business owner or inventor, anyone who works, has a right to freely engage in their business.”

As someone who has spent decades working in schools, education is another high priority, Hook said.

“Student achievement is not where anybody wants it to be,” he said. “We stopped giving the MEAP test two years ago and now we’ve switched to the M-STEP. In that test, 50 percent of Michigan students are proficient in reading and 25 percent are proficient in math.”

Hook said he grew up poor, the son of a Maine wood-pulp sharecropper. His common roots allow him to connect with the people who have been ignored by the government in the past, he said.

“Everyday folks need a voice,” he said. “Right now, we have a bunch of legislation that everyday folks have been left out on. Eighty percent of the people said ‘No,’ to the gas tax last spring and then the governor turned around a month and a half later and forced it through.”

Hook joins Michele Hoitenga in seeking the republican nomination for the representative position. Hoitenga, the mayor of Manton, first announced her candidacy in the beginning of October.