The Small Business Association of Michigan’s Small Biz PAC issues endorsements to candidates running for State-level office. Our main objective is to support candidates who actively work to stimulate small business growth and provide Michigan with an entrepreneurial economy. The PAC Board factors in candidate questionnaires, member recommendations and voting records when making decisions on which candidate deserves the support of Michigan’s small business community.
2020 Endorsed Candidates
Michigan Supreme Court Candidates
With more and more policy decisions being made in the court system, SBAM has decided to for the first time to endorse candidates for Michigan’s Supreme Court. The endorsement process for Supreme Court consist of a rigorous interview process with a panel of small business owners from around our state. Both candidates were chosen due to their strong track record of maintaining both a fair and predictable legal environment for small businesses to navigate here in Michigan. As they have in the past, these two candidates have demonstrated that they have and will continue to be both responsive and accessible to small business owners from all across Michigan.
Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack
Before her election in 2012, Chief Justice McCormack was a professor and associate dean at Michigan Law, the University of Michigan law school, where she taught criminal law, legal ethics and various clinical courses. In her role as associate dean she launched many clinical programs, in which students represent Michiganders who can’t afford lawyers including a:
- Pediatric Health Advocacy Clinic;
- Domestic Violence Clinic;
- Juvenile Justice Clinic; and the
- Michigan Innocence Clinic, the first non-DNA Innocence Clinic in the country. To date, the Michigan Innocence Clinic has exonerated 22 men and women.
Chief Justice McCormack continues to teach at Michigan Law each year and is on the board of the Washtenaw County Families Against Narcotics, where she collaborates with medical professionals and other community leaders to find innovative ways to address the opioid crisis.
Hon. Brock Swartzle
Judge Brock A. Swartzle was appointed to the Court in 2017. Prior to joining the bench, Judge Swartzle was Chief of Staff for the Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, as well as General Counsel for the House, where he worked on numerous legal and policy issues, including the Detroit bankruptcy settlement package. Judge Swartzle was previously a litigation partner with Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, where he practiced in antitrust, healthcare fraud, white-collar crime, securities, and other areas. Judge Swartzle had extensive experience in federal court prior to joining the Michigan Court of Appeals, clerking for three years in both the Eastern District of Michigan and the Western District of Michigan, as well as four years with the Hon. David W. McKeague on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Judge Swartzle currently sits on the editorial board of the American Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Journal, a publication for which he was Co-Editor-in-Chief for several years, as well as on the George Mason Law & Economics Center’s Judicial Education Advisory Board. He has authored numerous legal articles as well as co-authored a chapter in the practitioner treatise, Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts (West). Judge Swartzle received his B.S. with distinction from the University of Michigan and his J.D. with honors from George Mason University School of Law, where he served on the George Mason Law Review Board of Editors.
State House Candidates
State Rep. Joe Tate is serving his first term representing Michigan’s 2nd House District, a diverse community that covers part of Detroit’s Lower East Side, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe City, and Grosse Pointe Farms.
After an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, he earned both an M.B.A. and a Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning from the University of Michigan. Before joining the Legislature, Tate helped small businesses grow their capacity as a program manager for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.
Shri Thanedar is running to represent the 3rd House District, which comprises parts of northern Detroit.
Shri is the proud father, husband and grandfather, who was born in a small town in southern India. Shri is also a Ph.D scientist, an author, a former Michigan democratic gubernatorial candidate, a retired small business owner, and a current resident of Detroit Michigan.
Stephanie Young was born in Detroit, Michigan. She received a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University – James Madison College in 1990. Young’s professional experience includes being the executive director of the Community Education Commission, the neighborhood city hall manager for the Mayor Kilpatrick administration, the neighborhood city hall director for the Mayor Cockrell and Mayor Bing administrations, the District One manager in the Mayor Duggan administration, the outreach manager for Detroit Area Agency on Aging, and the chief of staff and legislative liaison for three state representatives. She has been affiliated with the Rosedale Park Improvement Association, the Wellspring Board, the Brightmoor Alliance, United Precinct Delegates, and Grandmont Rosedale Supports Justice.
Mary Cavanagh is running to represent Michigan’s 10th House District, which comprises Redford Charter Township and a portion of northwest Detroit.
Mary Cavanagh of Redford works in community outreach and is the daughter of former Rep. Phil Cavanagh, who held this seat from 2011-14.
State Representative Jewell Jones is serving his second term representing the 11th House District, which comprises all of Garden City and Inkster, and portions of Dearborn Heights, Livonia and Westland. Jones previously served on the Communications and Technology, Regulatory Reform, and Military and Veterans Affairs Committees.
Before serving in the Michigan House of Representatives, Jones was a member of the Inkster City Council. He was also a member of the Inkster Task Force, the Inkster Youth Coalition, the Inkster Chamber of Commerce and more.
State Rep. Alex Garza is serving his first term representing the 12th House District, which encompasses the cities of Taylor, Romulus and part of Van Buren Township. Garza is the third oldest of four children and calls the great city of Taylor his home.
Garza was first elected to the Taylor City Council in November 2013, becoming the youngest and first person of color elected to local office in Taylor’s history. He was re-elected to City Council in 2017. As the highest vote-getter, he served as the city council chairman.
Tullio Liberati is running to represent the 13th House District, which comprises the cities of Allen Park and Southgate, and part of Dearborn Heights.
Born and raised in Allen Park, Tullio attended St Frances Cabrini and then went on to Wayne State University. Over 20 years ago he started a company in Allen Park, Liberati and Sons Construction, for which he is the sole owner and operator.
State Rep. Kevin Coleman is serving his first term representing the 16th House District, which encompasses the city of Wayne and the majority of the city of Westland. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University, attended the Lee Honors College and is a former member of the Westland City Council.
Joe Bellino was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016. He represents the 17th District, which covers portions of Wayne and Monroe counties, including the cities of Monroe, Flat Rock and Rockwood, the townships of Ash, Berlin, Exeter, Frenchtown, London, Sumpter, as well as a portion of Monroe Township.
Rep. Bellino has owned and operated Broadway Market for the past 18 years. Prior to that, he worked in the family beer and wine distributorship, Bellino’s Quality Beverage, until 1987, when he was given an opportunity to work for The Society of St. Vincent DePaul in Detroit.
Martha grew up in the Old Rosedale neighborhood in Livonia and when Martha and her husband of 27 years, Brian, decided to start a family they decided that they wanted that same Livonia style upbringing for their own family.
Martha is a teacher for Livonia Public Schools and is committed to the education of all of Michigan’s children. Martha is currently the mathematics department chairman at Livonia Churchill High School.
Martha earned a Masters in Educational Technology from Livonia’s Madonna University, and her Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University.
She has spent the past 13 years teaching in Livonia Public Schools. Prior to teaching, Martha worked as a retail buyer for Marshall Fields, Dayton-Hudson & Montgomery Ward’s.
State Rep. Matt Koleszar is serving his first term representing Michigan’s 20th House District, which includes the cities of Northville and Plymouth, Northville and Plymouth Townships, and a portion of Canton. Koleszar currently serves as Assistant Leader for the House Democrats.
Matt Koleszar received an undergraduate degree from Saginaw Valley State University before attending Eastern Michigan University, where he received a master’s degree in English studies.
Prior to his election, Koleszar worked as a teacher and coach in the Airport Community School District and president of the Airport Education Association in Carleton.
Ranjeev is running to represent the 21st House District, which comprises the city of Belleville and the majorities of Canton and Van Buren townships.
Ranjeev’s professional background includes an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and currently he is working in the automotive industry to help craft innovative solutions to prepare Michigan’s economy for the future.
Steve Marino was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016 and represents residents in Harrison Township and portions of Clinton and Macomb townships.
Rep. Marino was a Macomb County Commissioner and local business owner prior to serving in the Legislature. Previously, he worked in both the public and private sectors, specializing in public affairs and campaign finance.
State Representative Diana Farrington was first elected in November 2016 to the Michigan House to represent the people of the 30th District, which includes the city of Utica and parts of Sterling Heights and Shelby Charter Township.
Rep. Farrington worked as a Mortgage Auditor, started her own youth sports photography company, and owned a staffing company with her husband. She’s a life-long member of Trinity Lutheran Church, and has been a part of the community for nearly 40 years helping out as a school, church, and community volunteer.
State Rep. Pamela Hornberger was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016. She represents the 32nd District, which includes portions of Macomb and St. Clair counties, including the City of New Baltimore and portions of the cities of Memphis and Richmond, as well as the townships of Chesterfield, Casco, Columbus, Ira, Kenockee, Kimball, Riley and Wales.
State Representative Jeff Yaroch was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016. He represents the 33rd District, which includes the townships of Armada, Lenox, Ray and Richmond, the majority of Macomb Township, the cities of Richmond and Memphis, and the villages of New Haven and Armada.
Prior to being sworn in as a state representative, Rep. Yaroch served as a firefighter/paramedic for 25 years with the Clinton Township Fire Department. He ended his fire service career at the rank of Battalion Chief. He is also a licensed attorney.
State Rep. Douglas C. Wozniak was first elected to serve the 36th District in November 2018. The district covers part of Macomb County including Bruce, Washington and part of Shelby Township and the Village of Romeo.
Wozniak is a small business owner and a practicing attorney at his own law firm. He is also a licensed insurance agent, realtor and broker.
As a lifelong resident of Oakland County, I hold a B.A degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. While in college, I was a student-athlete. The lessons I learned on the baseball diamond reinforce how important a well-planned, team approach is to tackle the challenges we face.
Working at my family’s marketing firm has provided me with additional business knowledge, as well as a steadfast belief in the importance of small business.
I worked as a field director for the ‘Lena Epstein For Congress’ in the 2018 General Election and was then elected to the 11th Congressional District executive committee in 2019. I have first handedly engaged in youth development as a volunteer youth baseball coach.
State Rep. Ryan Berman was first elected to serve the 39th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018, representing the residents of the city of Wixom, Commerce Township, a portion of West Bloomfield Township and the village of Wolverine Lake.
Ryan is an attorney and counselor at law, with a general practice in Bloomfield Hills.
State Rep. Padma Kuppa is serving her first term representing Michigan’s 41st House District, which encompasses the cities of Troy and Clawson.
Rep. Kuppa has worked as an engineer and project manager with a career that spans the automotive, financial, and IT industries. She is also currently the President of the Troy Historical Society and a board member of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.
State Rep. Ann Bollin was first elected in November 2018 and represents the 42nd District in southeast Livingston County. It includes Brighton, Genoa, Green Oak, Hamburg and Putnam Townships, the City of Brighton and the Village of Pinckney.
Prior to her election to the House, Ann was the Brighton Township Clerk from 2003-2018 and was the longest serving clerk. Known for being a strong community leader, she also served on the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Michigan Townships Association Board of Directors (District 25 Director), Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks Legislative Committee and Council of Election Officials (Township Alternate), Livingston County Municipal Clerks Association as Treasurer and the Livingston Community Water Authority.
State Rep. Andrea Schroeder was first elected to serve the 43rd District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. The 43rd District encompasses part of Oakland County including part of Waterford Township, the city of Lake Angelus, the village of Clarkston and Independence Township.
Andrea is a former teacher and senior sales executive and currently operates a successful consulting business.
State Rep. Matt Maddock was elected to serve in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. He represents the 44th District, which includes the residents of Highland Township, White Lake Township, Springfield Township, Milford Township, the Southwest section of Waterford Township, as well as the Village of Milford.
Mark Tisdel is running to serve the 45th District in the Michigan House of Representatives. The 45th District encompasses Rochester and Rochester Hills and part of Oakland Township.
Mark has served the last eight years as an At-Large Member of the Rochester Hills City Council; one year as Vice President and four years as President. On top of his service mark is a licensed insurance agent and small business owner.
State Representative Tim Sneller is serving his second term in the House of Representatives. He represents the 50th House District, which includes the cities of Grand Blanc and Burton, as well as Grand Blanc and Mundy townships.
Before serving as the representative for the 50th House District, Sneller served over 30 years as legislative aide to several legislators in Michigan, including many from Genesee County.
State Rep. Mike Mueller was first elected in November 2018 to serve the constituents of the 51st House District, which encompasses parts of Genesee County and Oakland County, including Argentine, Atlas, Fenton, Flushing and Gaines townships, and the cities of Linden and Fenton. Within Oakland County, Rep. Mueller represents the townships of Groveland, Holly and Rose.
Mueller was a road patrol deputy with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s department before taking a job with the Livingston County Sheriff’s department in 2005. He now runs his family orchard, part of the Linden community since 1941.
State Rep. Donna Lasinski is serving her second term in the House of Representatives. She represents Michigan’s 52nd House District, which encompasses northern and western Washtenaw County, including Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Saline and Whitmore Lake. Rep. Lasinski previously served as a member of the Communications and Technology and Insurance Committees, and as minority vice chair of the Energy Policy Committee.
Donna is the President of ThinkStretch, LLC, a successful K-12 education company she founded to emphasize summer learning and retention that currently operates in 38 states.
State Rep. Bronna Kahle was first elected in November 2016 to the Michigan House to represent the 57th District. The 57th District includes most of Lenawee County including the cities of Adrian, Hudson, Morenci and Tecumseh as well as the townships of Adrian, Blissfield, Clinton, Deerfield, Dover, Fairfield, Franklin, Hudson, Macon, Madison, Medina, Ogden, Palmyra, Raisin, Ridgeway, Riga, Rollin, Rome, Seneca, Tecumseh and Woodstock.
Kahle owned a small business, which provided home care for seniors and vulnerable members of the community. Recently, she served as Director of the Adrian Senior Center.
Andrew Fink was born in Superior Township, Michigan. He earned an undergraduate degree from Hillsdale College in May 2006 and a graduate degree from the University of Michigan in May 2010. Fink served in the United States Marine Corps from 2009 to 2016. He has served as a member of the American Legion, the Hillsdale College Alumni Board, the Michigan State Bar, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, and the National Rifle Association.
Bronwyn is running to serve the 61st District in the Michigan House of Representatives. The 61st encompasses the city of Portage as well as the townships of Oshtemo, Prairie Ronde, Schoolcraft and Texas.
Bronwyn has lived in five states working to elect public servants to office. Moving from state to state to elect leaders she believed in. She currently runs a small business in Kalamazoo.
Matt Hall was first elected to serve the 63rd District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. The 63rd District consists of south and central Calhoun county and eastern Kalamazoo county.
Rep. Hall is an attorney. He previously served as West Michigan Liaison for the Michigan Attorney General’s office. Rep. Hall also worked in the private sector for a combat propulsion systems manufacturer.
Rep. Alexander is honored to continue serving residents of the Jackson community for her second term as state representative. Julie represents the 64th House District including the City of Jackson and Concord, Hanover, Napoleon, Parma, Pulaski, Sandstone, Summit, and Spring Arbor townships.
While not originally born and raised on a farm, Julie has embraced the lifestyle of a farmer’s wife. The Alexanders own and operate their family farming business in Hanover Township, growing approximately 1,500 acres of crops (corn, soybeans and hay).
State Rep. Sarah Lightner was first elected to serve the 65th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. The 65th District includes Springport, Tompkins, Rives, Blackman, Henrietta, Leoni, Waterloo, Grass Lake, Norvell, Columbia and Liberty townships in Jackson County. The district also includes Cambridge Township in Lenawee County and the City of Eaton Rapids along with Hamlin, Eaton and Brookfield townships in Eaton County.
Sarah has made her career as a paralegal specializing in criminal defense and family law. She and her husband also operate a small crop farm, custom hay baling and wrapping operation, as well as a deer processing business in the fall.
Beth Griffin was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016. She represents the 66th District, which includes all of Van Buren County, and Alamo Township, Cooper Township and the city of Parchment in Kalamazoo County.
Rep. Griffin was a Parchment Middle School teacher of sixth-grade Special Education and eighth-grade English from 1999-2005 and was a guest teacher at Mattawan Consolidated Schools from 2010 until her election to the state House. She holds a Michigan Excellence in Public Service Series certificate.
State Rep. Sarah Anthony is serving her first full term representing the 68th House District, which encompasses part of the city of Lansing and Lansing Township. She currently serves as the Democratic Caucus Chair for the 2019-2020 session. In November 2018, Anthony was sworn into her partial term, making her the first African-American woman to serve in this capacity in Lansing’s history.
After graduation, she immediately returned to Lansing to work for former State Rep. Joan Bauer. There, she served as a Legislative Assistant, working closely with Lansing residents to streamline government services and with neighborhoods to connect them to vital improvement services and funds. In 2010 Anthony began an eight year service as Deputy Director with the Michigan College Access Network.
Rep. Julie Brixie represents Michigan’s 69th District which encompasses part of Ingham County including East Lansing, Lansing, Meridian Township, Williamston Township, and Locke Township.
Prior to serving in the legislature Rep. Brixie was a member of the Meridian Township Board.
Patrick Outman was born and raised in Six Lakes, MI and graduated from Lakeview High School in 2010. He wrestled, played football and golf and is a proud Wildcat. Pat majored in Business Administration and Legal Studies before graduating with honors from Ferris State University.
He worked in the construction trade, specifically residential home and agricultural construction, while pursuing his degree. His family owns and operates a multi-generation excavating business that has continued to serve the community for over half a century. In his spare time, Pat helps run the small family cattle farm as well.
State Rep. Angela Witwer is serving her first term representing the 71st House District, which includes much of Eaton County and the cities of the cities of Charlotte, Olivet, Potterville, Grand Ledge, parts of Lansing, as well as the townships of Bellevue, Benton, Carmel, Chester, Delta Charter Eaton Rapids, Kalamo, Oneida Charter, Roxand, Sunfield, Vermontville, Walton, and Windsor Charter. An alumnus of Waverly Community Schools, Witwer went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from Northwood University.
Witwer began her professional career in clinical health care, working first in Sparrow Hospital’s burn unit and later as the manager of pediatric rehabilitation. In 2007, Rep. Witwer co-founded Edge Partnerships, an award-winning public relations firm and SBAM Member.
State Rep. Steve Johnson was born and raised in Allegan County. He is a lifelong resident of the 72nd House District and was first elected to serve in the Michigan Legislature in 2016. He represents the people of Dorr, Leighton, Wayland and Gaines Townships as well as the cities of Kentwood and Wayland.
As a Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force, Johnson was responsible for leading a team of airmen to perform maintenance on our nation’s nuclear ICBM weapon systems. After being honorably discharged, Steve moved back to Michigan to finish his education. Johnson also has worked as a substitute teacher and in the construction industry.
Bryan is running to represent the 73rd District, which includes the city of East Grand Rapids and the townships of Cannon, Courtland, Nelson, Oakfield, Plainfield, Spencer and Grand Rapids Charter Township.
Bryan is a lifelong resident of Kent County and a fourth-generation farmer. A graduate from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business Management, Bryan is a Managing Partner at the largest farmer-owned and operated hopyard in the State of Michigan.
State Rep. Mark Huizenga was first elected to serve the 74th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. The 74th District encompasses the cities of Walker, Grandville, Rockford and Cedar Springs, as well as Solon, Tyrone, Sparta, Algoma and Alpine townships.
Mark owns a consulting firm and has over 15 years of management consulting expertise; his firm provides services all across the United States. He’s previously held senior management roles with Spectrum Health, Health Development International, ProCare Systems as well as other health care organizations. Mark has also served as an adjunct instructor at Grand Valley State University.
State Rep. David LaGrand is serving his second full term representing the 75th House District, which encompasses a portion of the city of Grand Rapids. Previously, LaGrand has served on the Appropriations Committee.
Before his election to the House, LaGrand served on the Grand Rapids City Commission and the Grand Rapids Board of Education. He is a small-business owner, entrepreneur, and SBAM Member. He started a construction firm in college, Four Friends Coffee Shop in 1994, Wealthy Street Bakery in 2002, and currently owns Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids.
State Representative Rachel Hood is serving her first term representing the 76th House District, which covers a large section of the city of Grand Rapids. Hood has spent her career developing, financing and implementing innovative urban investment, water protection and energy conservation solutions. She is a graduate of Michigan State University’s James Madison College, where she earned a degree in Public Policy.
Hood began her professional career as the executive director of the West Grand Neighborhood Organization working in crime prevention and community development. After WGNO, Hood spent time consulting for a variety of clients, including serving as a co-creator of Local First of West Michigan. She then went on to serve as the Community Relations Manager at Metro Health Hospital where she helped the health system prepare to operate in the Mid-West’s first green-built healthcare campus.
State Representative Tommy Brann was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016. He represents the 77th District, which includes Byron Township and the city of Wyoming.
Brann has been working in the restaurant business since the age of 17. At the age of 19, Tommy opened his restaurant “Tommy Brann’s Sizzling Steaks and Sports Grille” and spent the next 30 years working from 9 a.m.-2 a.m. He is also an author and song writer, detailing the hard work needed by small-business owners in the book “Mind Your Own Business” and the song “Risk.” “Mind Your Own Business” includes 13 small-business lessons that he will be using while serving in Lansing. He currently is owner and operator of Brann’s Restaurants, which has several locations across Michigan including the same first restaurant that has been open for 45 years. He still works at the Wyoming location when not in Lansing.
State Rep. Brad Paquette was first elected to serve the 78th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. The 78th District encompasses portions of Berrien and Cass Counties, including the cities of Buchanan, New Buffalo and Niles and the townships of Baroda, Berrien, Bertrand, Buchanan, Chikaming, Galien, Howard, Milton, Niles, Ontwa, Oronoko, Pipestone, Silver Creek, Sodus, Three Oaks, and Weesaw.
Brad worked as an educator, teaching at Niles New Tech Entrepreneurial Academy where he has lead in Project-Based Learning for the New Tech Network. He served on the Planning Commission for the city of Niles.
State Rep. Pauline Wendzel was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. She represents the 79th District, which includes part of Berrien County including the cities of Coloma, St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, Bridgman and Watervliet, as well as the townships of Bainbridge, Benton, Coloma, Hagar, Lake Charter, Lincoln, Royalton, St. Joseph and Watervliet.
n 2014, Pauline became the programs director at the North Berrien Historical Museum. She also has worked on her family farm and spent time counseling young children at Five Pines Christian Camp. Prior to her election, Pauline was the product brand development manager at Coloma Frozen Foods. She served as the assistant deputy clerk for Bainbridge Township.
State Rep. Mary Whiteford was first elected to serve the 80th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in March 2016. The 80th District includes the cities of Allegan, Fennville, part of Holland, Otsego, Plainwell, Saugatuck, and part of South Haven. She also represents the village of Douglas city and the townships of Allegan, Casco, Cheshire, Clyde, Fillmore, Ganges, Gun Plain, Heath, Hopkins, Laketown, Lee, Manlius, Martin, Monterey, Otsego, Overisel, Salem, Saugatuck, Trowbridge, Valley and Watson.
Whiteford worked in a pediatric neurosurgery unit before working in a pediatric emergency unit. In 1997 she started an accounting business with her husband, Kevin. They now run their own financial planning firm.
State Rep. Gary Eisen was first elected to serve the 81st District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. The 81st District encompasses parts of St. Clair County, including Lynn, Berlin, Emmett, Brockway, Greenwood, Grant, Clay, Clyde, Port Huron, St. Clair, East China, China, Cottreville and Mussey Townships, as well as the cities of Yale, St. Clair, Marine, Marysville and Algonac.
Eisen is a small business owner with over 35 years of experience. Gary owns Eisen Inc., specializing in welding, fabrication and repairs. He serves as national sports chair for AAU USA Target Shooting. Gary teaches American Warrior Martial Arts classes and is a member of the AUUO non-profit sports association. He is a member of St. Peter’s Church and has served on the Church Council for the past four years.
State Rep. Gary Howell was first elected to serve the 82nd House District in March, 2016. The 82nd House District includes all of Lapeer County.
Rep. Howell is a lifelong farmer who continues a farm partnership with his son, John, in North Branch. He served as a township, city and village attorney for 40 years.
Andrew Beeler was born in Port Huron, Michigan. He served in the United States Navy from 2010 to 2019. Beeler earned a bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy in 2014 and went on to pursue his graduate education at the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy.
State Rep. Phil Green was first elected to serve the 84th District in November 2018. The district covers Huron and Tuscola counties.
Green served as the youth pastor at a local church for several years following college in Oshkosh, Wis., and later moved to upstate New York. While in New York, he served in the community of Pavilion as the pastor of First Baptist Church, coach at Pavilion Central School District and chaplain at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office working with the deputies, administration, dispatchers and corrections officers. Since moving back to Michigan in 2012, Phil has been the School Administrator of Juniata Christian School in Vassar.
State Rep. Ben Frederick was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016. He represents the 85th District, which includes Shiawassee County and the Southwestern portion of Saginaw County.
Prior to his election to the Legislature in 2016, Rep. Frederick served as a legislative staff member for 14 years in both the Michigan House and Senate. Locally, Ben served on the Owosso City Council for nine years and was city’s youngest mayor, holding that office for three terms.
State Representative Thomas Albert was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016. He represents the 86th District, which makes up portions of Kent and Ionia County including the cities of Belding, Ionia and Lowell as well as the townships of Easton, Ionia, Orleans, Otisco, Ada, Bowne, Caledonia, Cascade, Grattan, Lowell and Vergennes.
Upon graduation from the University of Michigan, Thomas was commissioned as a Marine Corps Officer. He spent the next year attending training schools in order to enter the operational forces. In 2009, Thomas deployed to Iraq as an advisor to the Iraqi Army in the Anbar Province. After leaving active duty, he continued to serve as a reservist until 2013. After completing his MBA in 2013, Thomas worked as an investor for the State of Michigan Retirement Systems.
State Rep. Julie Calley was first elected to the Michigan House in November 2016 and represents the residents of Barry County and part of Ionia County including the townships of Boston, Campbell, Danby, Keene, Lyons, North Plains, Odessa, Orange, Portland, Ronald, Sebewa, most of Berlin Township, and the City of Portland.
Calley spent ten years in real estate management.
Rep. Jim Lilly was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016. He represents the 89th District, which includes the townships of Grand Haven, Olive, Park, Port Sheldon, Robinson, Blendon, Crockery and Spring Lake, and the cities of Ferrysburg and Grand Haven.
Lilly was Vice President and Commercial Banking Team Leader, at Macatawa Bank in 2012-2016. He previously worked as Relationship Manager at The Bank of Holland, Corporate Banking Officer at National City Bank, and Key Corporate and Investment Banking analyst at Key Bank.
State Rep. Bradley Slagh was first elected to serve the 90th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. The 90th District encompasses parts of Ottawa County, including the cities of Holland, Hudsonville and Zeeland, and the townships of Holland, Jamestown and Zeeland.
Before taking office, Rep. Slagh spent 18 years in the financial services industry working first for First Michigan Bank, and then for Byron Center State Bank. Brad then served over 5 years as Zeeland Township Supervisor, and for the last 11 years as the Ottawa County Treasurer. Brad has a real estate license and is supervision partner of a family owned property management business.
State Rep. Greg VanWoerkom was elected in 2018 as state representative of the 91st District in the Michigan House of Representatives. The 91st District encompasses part of Muskegon County including the cities of Montague, Norton Shores, Roosevelt Park, Whitehall, and the townships of Blue Lake, Casnovia, Cedar Creek, Dalton, Egelston, Fruitport, Holton, Montague, Moorland, Ravenna, Sullivan and White River.
Greg was the district director for U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga and previously served as the senior policy advisor to U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra. He serves on the board of the United Way of the Lakeshore and is the former board president for Western Michigan Christian High and Middle School. He’s also a member of the Muskegon Rotary Club and Covenant Life Church.
State Rep. Terry J. Sabo is serving his second term representing Michigan’s 92nd House District, which includes the cities of Muskegon, Muskegon Heights and North Muskegon along with the townships of Muskegon, Laketon, Fruitland and Whitehall. In his first term, Rep. Sabo served as Democratic vice chair of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and also served on the Agriculture, Workforce & Talent Development, Local Government and Transportation & Infrastructure committees.
Rep. Sabo has always put his community first. As a lifelong resident of Muskegon County, he has dedicated his time to developing a more safe and prosperous Muskegon. He served four years in the United States Air Force as a security policeman before his more than 25 years of employment as a Muskegon Heights firefighter and police officer. During his career, he has also worked part-time for the North Muskegon Police Department and the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department. From 2011-2012, he served as a Muskegon County Road Commissioner before being elected to the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners in 2012. His colleagues elected him chairman of the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners in 2015 and again in 2016.
State Rep. Graham Filler was first elected to serve the 93rd District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. The 93rd District encompasses Clinton County and portions of Gratiot County, including the city of Ithaca and the townships of Sumner, Arcada, New Haven, North Shade, Newark, Fulton, Washington, North Star, Elba, Hamilton, Lafayette and Wheeler.
In 2011, Graham was named an assistant attorney general. He is active with the St. John’s Kiwanis Club 707, the SafeCenter organization, and Big Brothers Big Sisters and was named Kiwanian of the Year in 2014. He is also a member and supporter of the Farm Bureau, the NRA, and Right to Life of Clinton County and active in the Republican Party, serving as the treasurer for the Clinton County Republican Party.
State Rep. Rodney Wakeman was first elected to serve the 94th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. The 94th District encompasses part of Saginaw County, including the city of Frankenmuth and the townships of Albee, Birch Run, Blumfield, Frankenmuth, Saginaw, St. Charles, Swan Creek, Taymouth, Thomas, and Tittabawassee.
Wakeman is co-owner of Wakeman Funeral Home, a 108-year-old family business. In 2014, he was named runner-up for National Funeral Director of the Year Award.
State Rep. Jason Wentworth was first elected in November 2016 to the Michigan House to represent the residents of Clare, Gladwin, Arenac and part of Osceola County including Evart city and the townships of Evart, Hersey, Highland, Marion, Middle Branch, Orient, Osceola, Sherman and Sylvan.
Wentworth joined the United States Army after graduating high school in 2001. He spent five years as a military police officer and completed a tour in South Korea. After his military service, Wentworth worked in law enforcement in both the private and public sector. Prior to being elected, he was the East Central Michigan Regional Coordinator for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.
State Rep. Annette Glenn was first elected to the Michigan House in November 2018. She represents the 98th District, which includes portions of Bay and Midland counties. Within Bay County, Glenn represents the cities of Auburn. Pinconning, and Linwood, and the townships of Beaver, Fraser, Garfield, Gibson, Mount Forest, Pinconning, and Williams. In Midland County, the district includes the city of Midland, the village of Sanford. and the townships of Homer, Jerome, Larkin, Lee, and Midland.
Annette has served in multiple legislative offices at the state and federal level. She has also managed several political campaigns including those for Congress, Lt. Governor, state Supreme Court and multiple state House and Senate campaigns. She was elected county Republican chair at age 23.
State Rep. Roger Hauck was first elected to the Michigan House in 2016. He represents the 99th District, which encompasses all of Isabella County and ten townships in Midland County.
Rep. Hauck grew up on a beef and dairy farm, and worked for the Delfield Company for 24 years. He also co-owns a small building company.
State Representative Scott VanSingel was first elected in November 2016 to the Michigan House to represent the people of the 100th District, which includes Lake, Oceana and Newaygo counties.
Scott has worked in public accounting for the world’s largest CPA firm. He later went on to work as a Financial Analyst for Dematic in Grand Rapids. During this time, he started a successful rental real estate company.
State Rep. Jack O’Malley was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. He represents the Fighting101st District, which includes Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee and Mason counties.
With almost 40 years in Broadcasting both radio and TV, Jack found his home hosting the morning show on WTCM FM in 1984. With his long tenure there, he holds the unofficial record for the longest-running morning show at one station in Michigan history, at 34 years.
State Rep. Michele Hoitenga was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016. She represents the 102nd District, which includes Wexford and Mecosta counties and part of Osceola County that includes Reed City and the townships of Burdell, Cedar, Hartwick, Le Roy, Lincoln, Richmond and Rose Lake.
Michele and her husband own PhD Consulting, an energy consulting business.
State Representative Daire Rendon of Lake City was first elected in November 2016 to the Michigan House and represents the residents of Missaukee, Crawford, Kalkaska, Roscommon and Ogemaw counties.
Rendon started her career as a government employee at the Social Security Administration in Grand Rapids, but moved into the private sector when she bought her first business in Cadillac, Michigan in 1988. Check Alert Systems was a licensed collection agency that recovered bad checks written to businesses and verified bad checking account data at the point of sale. When she sold that business in 2011, Rendon moved her entire business model and personnel to a company she started in 2001 and still operates today; Dragon Payment Systems (DPS). Located in Lake City, the staff at DPS provides virtual customer service to monitored security companies located in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Nashville.
State Representative Sue Allor was first elected in November 2016 to the Michigan House to represent the people of Alpena, Presque Isle, Alcona, and Iosco counties, as well as part of Cheboygan County including the townships of Aloha, Benton, Burt, Ellis, Forest, Grant, Inverness, Mentor, Mullett, Nunda, Walker, Waverly and Wilmot.
Allor worked as a nurse in several hospital units including maternity, surgical and cardiac step-down. She was also actively involved at the schools her children attended volunteering as a coach and mentor to students. Today, she and her husband own and operate a small collision repair business in Indian River and Petoskey.
After working with his family to launch several non-profit organizations and rekindle the venerated Religious Heritage of America Foundation, John and his father started 45 North Productions in the year 2000, with the expressed purpose of telling the stories of character, sacrifice and dedication that made America a great nation. In the course of the next twenty years, this pursuit would lead John to co-author and produce nine national television specials on all-American themes like Arlington National Cemetery, the Medal of Honor, Military Families, NASA, and many others. John and his father were contracted by the Department of Defense to produce the official documentary celebrating the opening of the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, both of them having been in the very corridor of the Pentagon when the plane struck 7 years earlier.
State Representative Beau LaFave was first elected in November 2016 to the Michigan House to represent the people of Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties.
A lifelong resident of Dickinson County in the 108th District, LaFave lives in Iron Mountain. He is an avid hunter and fisherman.
State Rep. Gregory Markkanen was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. He represents the 110th District, which includes Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties, as well as Powell and Ishpeming townships in Marquette County.
Greg served as a medical Corpsman with the 82nd Airborne Division in the Airborne Infantry Platoon and spent additional time as a Medic with the 107th Engineer Battalion of the Michigan Army National Guard. He teaches high school civics, history and geography for Baraga Area Schools and served on the Hancock City Council as the Ward II representative.
Stamps of Approval
The SBAM Stamp of Approval recognizes a candidate as being friendly to small business and in line with our political platforms but does not serve as a full candidate endorsement for the general election.