State and Federal Elected Officials
US Senator Gary Peters
In the 114th Congress, Gary serves on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and the Joint Economic Committee.
In the U.S. Senate, Gary’s top priority is to continue supporting job creation and economic growth to strengthen Michigan small businesses and our middle class. He is committed to working with members of both parties to find commonsense, practical and bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing Michigan and our nation.
US Senator Debbie Stabenow
Born in Gladwin and raised in Clare, Debbie Stabenow knows what matters to Michigan. Elected to the United States Senate in 2000, she is respected for her ability to build coalitions to get things done for Michigan and our nation.
As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and a member of the Senate Energy, Finance, and Budget Committees, she has a powerful and unique role to play in shaping our nation's manufacturing, health care, and agriculture policies, which are so critical to our future.
Among her many accomplishments, she has cut taxes for small businesses and passed initiatives to revitalize our manufacturing sector. In 2009, she authored the successful "Cash for Clunkers" program that gave a critical boost to the auto industry and manufacturers, and she authored the retooling loan program for advanced manufacturers that is bringing jobs back to Michigan from Mexico.
She serves as Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus, and was appointed to the President's Export Council by both President Bush and President Obama, where she helps Michigan companies export their products overseas.
She is a true friend and fighter for Michigan.
US Representative Tim Walberg
Tim Walberg is known throughout south-central Michigan for his commitment to bringing good-paying jobs back to Michigan, restraining government spending, reducing the national deficit and defending traditional values.
Walberg is currently in his second term in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Michigan’s Seventh District, which includes Branch, Eaton, Hillsdale, Jackson and Lenawee counties and parts of Calhoun and Washtenaw counties. Congressman Walberg is a principled, independent conservative dedicated to serving his constituents and willing to work in a bi-partisan manner on legislation that benefits the Seventh District.
Since taking office in 2007, the Congressman has hosted hundreds of public meetings and visited many parts of the district not accustomed to seeing their representative. He has attempted to be the most accessible representative in south-central Michigan's history.
Born in Chicago, Congressman Walberg grew up on the city’s south side and worked briefly as a union steel mill worker before attending Western Illinois University, Moody Bible Institute, Taylor University in Fort Wayne, IN (formerly Fort Wayne Bible College) and Wheaton College Graduate School, earning his B.S. and M.A. degrees.
Previously Congressman Walberg served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1983 to 1999, gaining a reputation as a principled voice for less government spending, lower taxes and fewer regulations, as well as a compassionate voice for the culture of life and traditional values.
During Tim's 16 years in the state legislature, he never voted for a tax increase and successfully fought to reduce income taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes and death taxes. He also compiled a 100% pro-life voting record and earned a lifetime A+ rating from the NRA.
Prior to his time in the Michigan House, Congressman Walberg served as a pastor for almost 10 years. Following his 16 years in the Michigan House, he served as president of the Warren Reuther Center for Education and Community Impact where his duties included creating local community betterment programs in the 7th District. Tim also worked as a division manager for the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, before retiring in January 2006.
Tim and his wife Sue have been married for over 35 years. They live in Tipton, Michigan, where they raised their three now-adult children Matthew, Heidi and Caleb.
Senator Mike Shirkey
Shirkey serves as chair of the Senate Health Policy and Michigan Competitiveness committees, and is a member of the Elections and Government Reform and Energy and Technology committees. He also serves as the vice-chair for the Appropriations subcommittee for Community Health.
Representative Julie Alexander
State Representative Julie Alexander was first elected in November 2016 to the Michigan House to represent the people of Jackson County including the city of Jackson and the townships of Concord, Hanover, Napoleon, Parma, Pulaski, Sandstone, Spring Arbor and Summit.
Rep. Alexander graduated from Northwest High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 1984 from Western Michigan University.
Alexander served as a middle school teacher for nine years and an adult education math and reading instructor for 13 years. She continues her passion for education as a founding member and past chair of the Jackson County Cradle to Career Education Network.
Today, Alexander and her husband own and operate a third-generation family dairy farm.
In 2010, Alexander was elected to the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, where she served three terms.
Alexander has been married to her husband, Jeff, since 1987. They live in Hanover. Together, they have four children and two grandchildren.
Representative Brett Roberts
Position: State Representative, 65th District
Phone: (517) 373-1775
Address: P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909
State Rep. Brett Roberts was first elected to serve the 65th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2014. 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.
Roberts serves as the vice chair of the Committee on Regulatory Reform. He is also a member of the Committees on Agriculture, Energy Policy, and Workforce and Talent Development.
Roberts graduated from Charlotte High School.
A sixth-generation Michigan farmer, Roberts has more than 20 years of experience with row crops and is currently a Syngenta seed advisor. Roberts also owns and operates the local Dairy Queen in Charlotte, Mich.
PUBLIC OFFICES AND AFFILIATIONS
Brett is a member of the National Rifle Association and Michigan Farm Bureau. He has worked closely with and is active in the Eaton County Farm Bureau. He is also a member of the Michigan Farm Bureau Young Farmers Committee.
Roberts has been a lifelong resident of Eaton County and currently resides in Eaton Township with his wife Megan. Brett and his wife have two children, a daughter named Devin and a son named Ion.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Gretchen Whitmer was born in 1971 in Lansing, Michigan, as the eldest of three children to Sharon H. "Sherry" Reisig and Richard Whitmer, who were both lawyers. Her father served as head of the state's Department of Commerce under Governor William Milliken and was the president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan between 1988 and 2006. Whitmer's mother worked as an assistant attorney general under Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley. Her parents divorced when she was 10 years old, and she and her siblings lived with their mother in Grand Rapids. Her father traveled from his home in Detroit to visit the family at least once a week. She graduated from Forest Hills Central High School, just outside Grand Rapids. She received a BA in communications from Michigan State University in 1993 and a JD from Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University in 1998.
Career prior to running for Governor:
Whitmer was elected to the State Senate in March 2006 after serving as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 2000 to 2006. As a state representative, she served for four years as the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. In the Senate she served on the following committees: Government Operations (ranking Democrat), Judiciary, Health Policy, Agriculture, Legislative Council and the Senate Fiscal Agency Board of Governors. Because of term limits, Whitmer could not run for reelection in 2014.
On November 5, 2010, Whitmer's Democratic colleagues unanimously chose her to be the Senate Democratic Leader, making her the first woman to lead a party caucus in the Senate.
On May 11, 2016, it was announced that the judges of Michigan's 30th Judicial Circuit Court had unanimously selected Whitmer to serve the remaining six months of the term of outgoing Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III after he was arrested on March 14, 2016, and charged with 11 counts of involvement with a prostitute and four counts of willful neglect of duty.
In a letter dated March 29, 2016, Dunnings announced he would resign effective July 2.
On June 21, 2016, Whitmer was administered the oath of office as prosecutor by Ingham County Circuit Court Chief Judge Janelle Lawless. She said her top priorities during her six months of service would be to determine if any other officials in the prosecutor's office knew about Dunnings's alleged crimes and to change how the office handled domestic violence and sexual assault cases.
On July 22, 2016, Whitmer issued an 11-page report on whether Dunnings's alleged criminal activity had affected cases handled by the office. The report concluded that employees "were never asked to compromise a case or look the other way" and that she had "...full confidence that any problem that had existed in this office left with Mr. Dunnings." Whitmer's term expired on December 31, 2016.
On January 3, 2017, Whitmer announced she would run in the 2018 Michigan gubernatorial race.
City and County Elected Officials
Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies
While he has served as Vice President to the Jackson Housing Commission and Secretary to the Jackson Human Relations Commission, he currently serves on the City’s Planning Commission, the Ella Sharp Park Board of Trustees, and numerous project-based committees, as well as many other boards and commissions by virtue of his office.
As an Eagle Scout, Dobies volunteers as a unit commissioner to the Cascades District Boys Scouts of America and, in the community, as a board member to the John George Home and the Jackson Eyeopeners Lions Club.
At Michigan State University, Dobies received a degree in Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy, a minor in Middle Eastern Studies and a certification in Homeland Security.
He lives in Jackson with his wife, Danielle, and their daughter.
Councilmember Arlene Robinson
Arlene Robinson is a lifelong resident of the city of Jackson and has served on the City of Jackson Income Tax Review Board for more than 10 years. She was appointed to the Jackson Housing Commission Board of Commissioners and served from 2011 to 2013, when she was elected as the First Ward City Council Member.
For the past 38 years she has worked in the banking industry, which includes managing two Comerica Bank branches for 10 years in the First Ward. She is currently a Loan Supervisor for South Central Credit Union. Arlene has served as Branch President of the Jackson County NAACP since 2006. Prior to her appointment as President of the NAACP, she also served as a Vice President and Treasurer.
She presently serves as the Treasurer of the Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club and has been an active member of the club for the past 26 years. She is a lifetime member of the Second Missionary Baptist Church and serves on the Board of Trustees.
Arlene received the Business Woman of the Year Award in 1992; the Sadie and Ex Rhodes Barham Award in 1999; and the Susan B. Anthony Award in 2004.
Arlene is a graduate of Jackson High School and attended Jackson Community College. She is the proud mother of three sons, Darrell, Maurice and Andre.
Councilmember Freddie Dancy
Freddie Dancy is originally from Arkansas and has lived in the Jackson area since 1998, after retiring from the United States Army after 23 years of service. He is currently an independent insurance agent, specializing in disability and life insurance. Freddie is also the co-owner of Dancy's Fancy Butter, a local business that began in 2013 and offers flavored enhanced butters to local stores and communities.
Freddie serves on the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Board, Jackson County Chamber Executive Committee, Jackson County Chamber Ambassador Committee, Disability Connection Board of Directors, Lily Missionary Baptist Church Board and Smiles on Wheels Board of Directors. Past board appointments include the Jackson Area Landlord Association and the Jackson Exchange Club Board.
Freddie's gregarious personality and willingness to serve were key factors in his selection as the 2012 Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year.
He has an associate's degree from Central Texas College and a bachelor's degree in business leadership from Baker College of Jackson. He is married to Anna and is the proud father of three children - Freddie III, Brittany and Taylor.
Councilmember Jeromy Alexander
Born and raised in Jackson, Alexander attended Columbia Central High School and Jackson Community College. He is an active and practicing Catholic and a member of St. John the Evangelist Parish.
Alexander said he hopes to connect with every resident of the ward through a variety of community groups, ward meetings and online via Facebook.
Ward 3 is home to Jackson’s fairgrounds as well as Armory Arts Village. Every year thousands of people from all over Michigan flock to the fairgrounds to check out the Jackson County Fair. The fairgrounds main event every year is the Jackson County Fair, held in August every year. The fair is celebrating its 159th year in 2012 and offers exciting rides, games, contests, as well as great local and international events. Other events held at the fairgrounds include Beerfest, Rockapalooza, and the circus.
Councilmember Craig Pappin
Elected in 2015, Craig is currently serving his first term on the Jackson City Council.
Craig is a local attorney who also owns and operates a retail business in the City, and currently serves with the USAF Reserves.
Craig earned a degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2009, a bachelor's degree from Siena Heights University in 2001, two associate's degrees from Jackson Community College and one associate's degree from the Community College of the Air Force.
Ward 4 makes up the northwest corner of the City of Jackson.
Councilmember Andy Frounfelker
Andrew R. Frounfelker is the Fifth Ward City Councilmember for the City of Jackson. He currently is serving a third term and was elected to office in November 2005 and re-elected in November 2009 and 2013. He has previously served as Vice Mayor from 2007-2009 and 2011-2013.
Frounfelker serves as a trustee of Ella Sharp Park and the City Retirement Pension Board, is a member of the City Local Development Finance Authority and City Parks and Recreation board and member of the Jackson County Economic Development Corporation and Land Bank Authority. He also serves on several ad-hoc committees and groups.
In addition to being a member of the City Council, he is employed by Consumers Energy Company where he is the Supervisor of Investment Recovery, and he is responsible for the disposition of the company’s unwanted assets. Before joining Consumers Energy, he was employed by Eaton Corporation-Aeroquip Division, where he was responsible for material coordination and production supervision of the company’s hydraulic hose fittings.
Frounfelker graduated from Lumen Christi Catholic High School, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Packaging Engineering from Michigan State University and a Master degree in Business Administration from Spring Arbor University.
He actively volunteers with the United Way of Jackson County and Partnership Park Downtown Neighborhood Association. Frounfelker is a member of the Jackson County NAACP, Fraternal Order of Police and a life member of the Michigan State University Alumni Association.
Andy is a native to Jackson and is dedicated to the betterment of his community and the vigorous servicing of the citizens of the Fifth Ward, City and County of Jackson.
Councilmember Colleen Sullivan
Sullivan attended neighboring Albion College where she received her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology/Anthropology. There she served in leadership roles ranging from drum major to president of Amnesty International and deputy service chairwoman of Alpha Theta. She also spent a great deal of time volunteering in local mentoring programs, teaching children to read and volunteering for the Special Olympics.
While working as a child and adolescent treatment specialist, Sullivan volunteered her time and resources to lead an art therapy program and to co-chair the recreation committee. She has also worked as a production stage manager and a records manager in the legal field.
After surviving pre-eclampsia and H.E.L.L.P. syndrome, she became an advocate for maternal health care and awareness. As her son went on to be diagnosed with autism and mild cerebral palsy, she worked within the special needs community to ensure that Jackson had a functioning therapeutic autism program. She received the Courage to Fight Back award from Lifeways for her role in this.
Ward 6 makes up the southwest corner of the City of Jackson. The majority of the ward consists of residential housing, schools, churches, and parks. The ward is also home to Ella Sharp Museum of Art and History, and 2 of Jackson’s many golf courses, Cascades Golf Course, and Ella Sharp Park Golf Course.
Commissioner Sarah Lightner
Sarah Lightner is new to the political world; this is her first appearance as an elected official representing the County to the Townships of Rives, Tompkins, Parma, Springport and Sandstone.
Sarah currently lives in Springport with her husband David and their two young sons, Eli and Gavin. They maintain a small crop farm, custom hay baling and wrapping operation as well as, a Deer Processing business in the fall. She is a graduate of Springport High School (2000) and attended Lansing Community College for Paralegal Studies (2004). She has been a paralegal specializing in criminal defense and family law for over 9 years, and continues to freelance concurrently with being a newly elected Commissioner. Sarah along with her husband David has been, and continues to be actively involved with the Jackson County Farm Bureau Young Farmers Group and the Springport FFA Alumni & Boosters. She enjoys seeing new sights , playing softball and hunting in her free time.
Sarah is committed to serving her constituents by being available to listen to their concerns, comments and praises of local government. She has a desire to gain a better understanding of local issues for her constituents and taking their concerns to the powers that be. Lastly, her motto is, “Good things come to those that wait; GREAT things come to those who work for it!”
Commissioner Rodney Walz
Commissioner Carl Rice, Jr.
Dr. Carl Rice, Jr (REP) is a lifelong resident of Jackson County. He has been married to Penny for 35 years. He has a son BJ and a son Ryan who died at age 19 and lives in Heaven. Carl and his family are members of Grace Church.
Carl earned an Associate’s Degree in General Studies from Jackson Community College, a Bachelors Degree in Human Resources from Spring Arbor University, a Masters Degree in Guidance & Counseling from Eastern Michigan University and a Doctorate in Theology from Andersonville Theological Seminary.
Carl and his family have a long history of service to our community. Carl is a former Jackson City Police Officer who performed such duties as: patrol, community service, SWAT Team, investigation and volunteer Honor Guard. Carl is a former Mental Health Therapist who operated his own business and treated adults and young people with various mental health and emotional issues. Carl is a former Counselor with Jackson Community College and Lansing Christian School System where he provided students career guidance and worked with the administration to improve educational services. For the last two years, Carl has developed a website ministry, A Voice From Heaven, where he is Founder and Chairman of the Board. Carl’s website ministers to parents and loved ones who have lost a child.
Carl loves to spend time with family and friends. He enjoys fishing, golfing, bowling, and going to the gym. He has volunteered to work with young people for over 30 years and as a member of the Jackson Area Officials Association, he serves as a youth football official. He is also a member of the Professional Writers Association and is working on getting his second book published.
As a third term Commissioner, Carl looks forward to the challenges and hard work it will take to address the needs of our community. Carl chairs an enhancement committee that has received $800,000 in grant funding for District 3.
Carl looks to serve for many years with the Jackson County Commission, to continue the ground work that has been done. Carl believes in teamwork and being a leader and will work to do what is best for the people he represents in Leoni and Summit Townships and Jackson County. Carl wants people to feel informed and to be heard and will stay in contact with people in the community and looks for people to contact him.
Commissioner Phil Duckham
Philip S. Duckham (Rep) was appointed to the vacant District 4 Commissioner's-position December 13, 2005. Phil is not a new comer to public service, having served on Region II, and Norvell Township Planning Commissions, Recycle Jackson Task Force and the Jackson County Solid Waste Committee.
Phil, born in 1952, is a life long resident of District 4. He is married to his best friend Vickie, and they have 6 children and two granddaughters. Phil graduated from Napoleon High School and attended Jackson Community College. He is a local businessman, as co-owner and President of Modern Waste Systems Inc., a refuse and recycle company, based in Napoleon.
Phil is an active member of the Brooklyn Presbyterian Church, the National Rifle Association, and MCRGO.
As a county commissioner, Phil is not afraid to face the issues. He will use his business experience plus common sense and best judgment to address and resolve issues to the best benefit of the citizens of Jackson County. Phil as a conservative believes in a lean and efficient small government that must live within its means.
Phil encourages the District 4 residents and other residents of Jackson County to contact him with their concerns or problems involving county issues.
Chairman Steve Shotwell
Chairman James E. Shotwell, Jr. (Rep) became a County Commissioner when he was appointed to finish the term of a deceased Commissioner in December, 2001. He was elected to office in November of 2002 for a two-year term to serve District 7, representing Summit and Liberty Townships.
Jim has had over 30 years of community service experience. He is the owner of Miller Shoe Parlor in downtown Jackson, has served on the Midtown Board and has served as Board member on Disability Connections, Big Brother/Big Sisters, and was a Scoutmaster for Troop 309 at St. John’s Parish. In addition, Jim has had experience working with the both City and County governments on many projects in and around the downtown area.
Commissioner Shotwell currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and has been Chairman since 2006. In this capacity, he is an ex officio member of all Standing Committees. He also is a member of the County’s Retirement Board, Airport Board, Board of Public Works, Region 2 Planning Commission, Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the Blackman Downtown Development Authority, and the J.AC.T.s Planning Committee.
Jim graduated from Lumen Christi High School and Jackson Community College. He is an Eagle Scout and an active member of St. John’s Catholic Church. He is married to Beckie and has 2 children, Betsy and Michael.
As a County Commissioner representing District 5, Jim is committed to serving his constituents and all the people of Jackson County.
Commissioner Allan Tompkins
Commissioner Allan Tompkins represents District 6 (PDF) located within the townships of Concord, Hanover, Pulaski and Spring Arbor and the Villages of Concord and Hanover.
Commissioner Allan Tompkins was elected at the 2016 General Election.
Commissioner Daniel Mahoney
Daniel J. Mahoney (Dem) was born and raised in Jackson, Michigan and graduated from Jackson High School class of 2000. He is a member of United Peoples Church located on Jacksons south side. Daniel is happily married to Semaj Mahoney his wife of 4 years. They have been together for 14 years and are the proud parents of 4 beautiful little girls. Daniel works in the wireless industry with ten years of experience in various positions such as Location Manager to Retail Sales Consultant. Daniel is currently employed at SPRINT located on West Ave in Jackson, MI.
Daniel along with some close friends established and coordinates the annual Back to School BBQ, Concert and School Supply Give-A-Way in conjunction with the Jackson Interfaith Shelter and the Martin Luther King Center. This event is a backpack and school supply give-a-way for any child in need in the community. The first event averaged 150 to 200 children and parents and continues to grow each year. In 2003, Daniel transferred from Jackson Community College to Eastern Michigan University where he majored in Entrepreneurship with a Minor in Communication.
Daniel believes that it is the responsibility of local government to provide the community with the resources to be successful, opportunities to provide for loved ones and amenities to sustain a well-rounded work/home balance in the community they live in. While elected to serve as County Commissioner Daniel is committed to advocating for and making decisions based on the best interest and needs of the 7th District community and constituents.
Commissioner Jon Williams
John would like to first thank you for allowing him to serve as your County Commissioner for the 8th District. This district represents approximately half of the city from Cooper Street west.
For the past 14 years, John has worked as a Nurse Manager for Allegiance Health managing the Occupational Health Clinics as well as recently as the Allegiance Hearing Clinic. John's management experience extends over 35 years, including three clinics that John co-owns with two physicians. John attended both Schoolcraft and Henry Ford colleges before obtaining a Nursing License from the former Sinai Hospital of Detroit. John has been married to Krista for nearly 20 years and they share three grown children and a younger daughter who attends Jackson Catholic Middle School.
John has had a commitment to the community for many years serving on a number of Boards and Commissions. John took the Citizen Planner course at Michigan State University Extension and is a member of the Michigan Association of Planning. John currently is serving as the Chairman of the City of Jackson Planning Commission and was the past chairman of the County Airport Zoning and Zoning Board of Appeals. He also serves on the Region II Planning Commission and is a member serving on the Jackson Downtown Development Authority.
As a small business owner, John knows the struggles that we face locally. In his companies, he is responsible for human resources functions, payroll, staffing, and he has to stay up to date with the federal, state, and local regulations. John is a member of the National Association of Occupational Health Professionals, he is certified as a Human Resource Management Specialist, and has been a member of the Medical Group Management Association for nearly thirty years.
As a former City Council member for the City of Jackson, John looks forward to this next step to serve you and the community. Should you ever need help from your Jackson County Commission, please feel free to contact him.
Commissioner David Elwell
David K. Elwell (REP), is serving his seventh term as Commissioner. He resides in Blackman Township and represents District 9. David’s wife Sharon and all three of his children were born in Jackson. David graduated from Alpena Community College, as well as having completed basic police training at Jackson Community College's police academy in 1980.
David has a long record of community service. He retired as a Detective Sergeant from Blackman Township Public Safety in 2004, having performed both police and fire duties since 1980. David has served on the Westwood Community Federal Credit Union Board of Directors for a number of years, including as Board President. Since 2005, David has been the Chief of Police for Columbia Township.
In his time on the Board of Commissioners, David has served as Vice-Chairman of the Board, as Chair of Personnel and Finance, as well as Chair of County Affairs, and several Ad-Hoc committees. Additionally, he has served on the Airport Board, Mid-South Substance Abuse, Region 2 Planning commission, Community Corrections Advisory Board, I-94 Study Committee, and many other committees. David has not missed a regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners since prior to his first election in November 2000.
As commissioner, David was instrumental in major improvements to the intersection of M-50 and Rives Junction Road in Blackman Township, following a fatal accident involving a Northwest Schools student.
David is Pro-Life and was named the 2009 Jackson County Republican of the Year.