State and Federal Legislators
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.
State of Michigan Elected Officials
State Senate Majority Leader, 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.
State 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.
State Representative Sara Lightner
Position: State Representative, 65th District
Phone: (517) 373-1775
N-999 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
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.
Rep. Lighter serves as a member on the House Appropriations Committee. She is vice-chair of the House Appropriations subcommittees on General Government and Judiciary and a member of the Corrections and Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs & Department of Insurance & Financial Services subcommittees.
Lightner attended Springport High School and Lansing Community College.
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.
PUBLIC OFFICES AND AFFILIATIONS
Lightner served as a Jackson County commissioner for the 1st District. She is active with several groups including the Jackson County Farm Bureau, the Springport FFA Alumni and Boosters, the National Association of Counties, the Criminal Justice Policy Commission, and Michigan Works!, among others.
Sarah and her husband David have two sons – Eli and Gavin.
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.