Midland, Mich. -- Annette Glenn was a high school state champion sprinter. Her father was a four-event state champion, and her grandfather qualified for the Olympics. Annette has been comfortable all her life running -- and winning -- highly competitive races.
Wednesday, the 54 year old Midland area Republican announced that she will run this year in the GOP primary election in August for the state House of Representatives seat representing the city of Midland, six adjacent townships in Midland County, and seven predominantly rural townships in Bay County. If Glenn wins the primary in August and the general election in November, she would succeed her husband, state Rep. Gary Glenn, who serves as chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee and is vacating the seat to run for the state Senate.
Annette -- whose campaign theme will be "Energy and Optimism for Michigan's Future" -- said she hopes to be judged first by her qualifications, knowledge, and decades of experience in business, community activities, and government affairs, but she said she would be remiss not to recognize the unusual political climate this year in which she believes women will prove to be particularly effective and successful candidates.
"While it would be an honor to be the first woman to represent the city of Midland in the state House of Representatives, I will not ask any voter to support my candidacy based solely on the fact that I'm a woman," Glenn said. "No one can dispute, however, that women are vastly underrepresented numerically in the Legislature, and particularly at a time of intense focus on school safety, sexual abuse, and the need for greater civility in politics, I can offer a competent, professional woman's perspective that I believe will be a valuable contribution to the legislative process in Lansing."
"Politically, since it appears the Democratic candidate for this seat will be a co-founder of the extremely liberal new women's group in Midland, I’m the Republican candidate who can most effectively neutralize any advantage she might otherwise have among female voters," Glenn said. "An experienced Republican woman will be more representative of the mainstream conservative values shared by the overwhelming majority of men and women alike in Bay and Midland counties."
Glenn said if elected, she will focus on bringing higher-paying new jobs to the Great Lakes Bay region, an issue she believes will be largely driven by the state's energy and tax policies.
"Energy is the single biggest cost of doing business for Dow Chemical in Midland, for agricultural processing activities in Bay County, and for the biggest single consumer of electricity in Michigan a few miles south of us, Hemlock Semiconductor," she said. "If we want Michigan to be more competitive and attractive for keeping the jobs we already have and for creating the new jobs we need in mid-Michigan to support our families, we can't continue to have the highest electricity rates in the Midwest. We have to have more competitive energy costs."
Education is also a high priority for Glenn. A mother of five children who between them graduated from or attended Midland High School, Bay City Western High School, Calvary Baptist Academy, and Delta College, and a grandmother of six, Annette said she is not only pro-life but pro-child and believes ensuring quality educational and other opportunities for all children is not only a moral and social obligation but a key element in economic development.
For example, she said she will work to protect the new $500,000 which Midland Public Schools received for the first time this budget year -- specifically earmarked to help "at risk" students -- and she wants schools to be more aggressive about addressing reading proficiency, including providing the specialized instruction that will assist students who suffer from dyslexia.
The daughter and daughter-in-law of World War II veterans, wife of an Army National Guard veteran in the Gulf War era, and the mother-in-law of an active duty U.S. Army infantry sergeant, Annette said she will also be committed to ensuring Michigan veterans receive the gratitude and benefits they earned in service to our country. "The last thing I did before announcing my candidacy was spend a week helping care for my 91 year old father, who was a Navy Seabee in World War II, who I love and am so proud of. For me, caring for our veterans is an issue of the heart."
She said she's never forgotten the inspiration she felt working for President Reagan's campaign over three decades ago, and that the principles he championed still inspire her. "I have a proven track record of conservative leadership in standing up for limited government, lower taxes, individual freedom, and the strong family values that make our home and quality of life here in mid-Michigan so special, something it will be my duty to protect."
She also brings an impressive resume of credentials and experience to the race.
A native of Idaho, she ran NCAA Division I track while earning a bachelors degree in Public Administration from Boise State University, where she served as chair of the BSU College Republicans, state C.R. chair, and national vice chair of the College Republican National Committee. She was the only female member of a College Republican delegation to an international conservative youth conference in Africa in the 1980s, besting her male companions with the highest marksmanship score during their visit to the rifle range at a South African Air Force base.
She served as a student intern in the Idaho state Senate and later as a full-time Congressional staffer in Washington, D.C. In 1984, she served as state chair of Youth for Reagan and attended the Republican National Convention that nominated President Ronald Reagan for his second term. At age 23, she was elected Republican Party chair in the state's largest population county, home to the state capital, and also served on the state Republican Party executive committee. She managed campaigns for Congress, Lt. Governor, state Supreme Court, and multiple state House and Senate races before setting politics aside when her third child was born.
After moving to Larkin Township in 1998, Annette -- whose husband and all four sons are Eagle Scouts -- has served as a local Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader for nearly twenty years. She volunteered for Probate Judge Doreen Allen's judicial campaign and has also served as a Republican precinct delegate in Midland County. She has also served as a volunteer for Midland’s Fleet Feet youth track program and the Midland Flames youth basketball team.
Annette said voters can trust that she has a strong work ethic. She started her first job at age eight, working in her father's dental office. By the time she entered high school, she was working three jobs and has paid her own way ever since. She and her husband are in the process of selling a restaurant they’ve owned since 2006 and have other commercial real estate investments, plus have worked as public relations consultants and non-profit volunteers over several decades. For the last two years, based on her knowledge and experience, Annette has served on the board of directors of a demographic data analytics and marketing think tank headquartered near Washington, D.C.
Annette said as a candidate, she will benefit from the firsthand exposure to the legislative process she experienced during her husband’s chemotherapy treatments in 2016 for cancer, now in remission, when she drove Gary to Lansing each week for five months, attending committee meetings and sitting with him during legislative sessions on the House floor.
She said during that five months, she gained in-depth knowledge about energy policy and other legislative issues while developing relationships and trust with legislators – including future legislative leaders -- who will be in their final terms after the 2018 election and with whom she will serve if elected. As an indication of that trust, she was asked by Speaker of the House Tom Leonard's office after the 2016 election to help conduct orientation briefings for the spouses of newly-elected Republican lawmakers.
Glenn's husband Gary said last year that Annette “would be both a formidable candidate and eminently qualified to serve if she ever chose to do so."
Annette Glenn has chosen to do so, and her latest race has begun.
For more information: AnnetteGlenn.com.