“I’m here because I believe in Gary Glenn. He stands up for my values, he stands up for what I believe in. ...He’s the right guy for the job. ...I just want to leave with you the fact that he’s the guy I want as our next state senator.”
Sen. Mike Green
Sen. Mike Green, left, with Rep. Gary Glenn at Glenn's announcement for state Senator in Caro.
Caro, Mich. -- Michigan state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Township, announced his candidacy Friday for Michigan’s 31st District State Senate seat.
Glenn currently represents Michigan’s 98th legislative district, which encompasses portions of Bay and Midland counties. He is the Associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem.
Glenn made the announcement late Friday morning at the Rolka building, located on State Street (M-81) in Caro.
“When I look at the attributes that we ought to have in a state senator, I would suggest that we need someone with a track record of proven leadership,” Glenn said at the announcement. “Not just another vote in the House of Representatives.”
The timing, however, of Glenn’s senate run is unclear. The 31st State Senate District includes Bay, Tuscola and Lapeer counties, and is currently occupied by Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville. In Michigan, state Senate seats are term-limited to two, four-year terms, and Green’s second term will be complete on Jan. 1, 2019.
But Green may cease being a state senator before that. According to a press release from Glenn’s office, “Green may vacate the seat as soon as next month, a year before the end of his final term, if and when he receives a long-anticipated appointment to a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder expected to call a special primary election to fill that vacancy as early as the first Tuesday in February, with a special general election following in late March or early April.”
Whether Green receives the appointment or not, Glenn will run for Michigan State Senate, he said.
“I am a candidate for the state senate,” Glenn said. “Either way, if there’s a special election, or whether it’s the normal election cycle.”
Glenn was joined in Caro Friday by his wife, Annette Glenn, Green and a handful of supporters.
“I’m here because I believe in Gary Glenn,” Green said. “He stands up for my values, he stands up for what I believe in. He’s probably a little more right of me on a lot of things, but he’s the right guy for the job.”
Although Green offered his support for Glenn, he couldn’t endorse him officially.
“I will tell you I can’t give (Glenn) an official endorsement because of where I’m likely to be shortly, hopefully soon,” Green said. “But I just want to leave with you the fact that he’s the guy I want as our next state senator.”
Glenn was originally elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2014, and is in his second term. The term limit on the House is a maximum of three, two-year terms. In addition to being Associate Speaker, Glenn is chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee and serves on the House Communications, Insurance, and Military and Veterans Affairs committees.
He served in the U.S. Army, which went a long way toward his decision to work in public service.
“I spent eight years in the Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves,” Glenn said. “And I’ve searched my heart as to why I’ve cared so much, so motivated, so passionate about doing my part to help preserve the values on which this country was founded. The answer I came to was having been raised by a World War II Marine who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“He taught me to love my country, to stand up for what I believe in, and fight for the ones I love.”
Glenn is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed about 18 months ago, he said.
He pointed out that during his initial Michigan House run, he used a familiar slogan.
“When I first ran for office in 2014 for the state House of Representatives, my slogan was ‘Make Michigan Great Again,’” Glenn said. “That was before (President Donald Trump) used it, but the truth is, I’m sure he and I both stole it from Ronald Reagan in 1980.”
If the likely scenario occurs where Green is appointed a spot with the Department of Agriculture, then a primary election would happen in early 2018. Glenn would face Kevin Daley, and possibly others, for the Republican candidacy in that primary election. Daley is a former Michigan representative out of Lapeer County.
“How the numbers break down in the early polling, I will, according to the polls, win substantially in Bay County,” Glenn said. “And Mr. Daley will substantially win Lapeer County and we’ll balance each other out. So Tuscola County gets to pick the next state senator is what it boils down to.”
Bay County Clerk Cindy Luczak has announced she will run for the 31st District seat as a Democrat in the regular November, 2018 election.
With a campaign trail now on the horizon, Glenn announced a 40-person-strong organization will spearhead his election efforts in Tuscola County. Mike Green’s son, Phil Green, will serve as chairman of Glenn’s Tuscola County campaign.