Darwin Booher Announces His Campaign for 35th Michigan Senate Seat

Darwin Booher announces his Michigan Senate CampaignMotivated by family circumstances that mirror the circumstances of so many Michigan families, State Representative Darwin L. Booher announced today that he will run for the State Senate. At a news conference in Evart, where he officially opened his campaign headquarters surrounded by family, friends and supporters, he explained, "Today's decision is a personal one for me. My daughter and her husband have left the state in order to find jobs and I have another son-in-law that has been working out of the state. It would be easy for me to retire back on my farm, but I feel driven to work towards a Michigan where my grandchildren can have jobs available to them in order to stay in Michigan and raise their families in this great state."

The Evart lawmaker is currently serving his third term in the House and believes that continuity of legislative experience, along with his professional career history, is the leadership needed in Lansing to restore Michigan's economy and create jobs.

"It's no secret that the job market and economy have drastically shifted in Michigan, causing residents, businesses and governments to figure out how to do more with less," Booher said. "Serving as a state representative I've never thought our people need more laws, we have plenty of those, but we do need to make sure we have a seat at the table to ensure that regulation isn't killing jobs and that we a favorable tax climate that will keep and attract new job providers. That effort becomes even more crucial as the economy continues to struggle."

Booher has served on the House Appropriations Committee for his entire career in Legislature, serving as caucus chair on subcommittees for community colleges, natural resources, special governmental operations, and the House Banking and Financial Services Committee.

Some of Booher's accomplishments as a representative for the region include an instrumental role in helping pass legislation to save 400 jobs at Cadillac Castings; introducing legislation that allows a USDA Rural Development loan to provide funding in Big Rapids for economic development and beautification projects; and successfully winning approval for state funding to help build a new optometry facility at Ferris State University.

Booher was first elected to the House in 2004 to represent residents of Osceola, Mecosta and Wexford counties. As Booher began exploring a run for the 35th Senate seat, at the beginning of the year, he spent time visiting all 11 counties to begin talking to local leaders and residents. The relationships that he has already built led him to have over 100 supporters from each of the counties in the Senate District, which includes all three of the counties in his current district, as well as Leelanau, Benzie, Kalkaska, Manistee, Missaukee, Roscommon, Lake and Clare counties.

"Although the 11 county Senate district is geographically large, the concern that I have heard repeated is very simple: jobs," Booher said. "With 29 of the current 38 senators having to leave because of term limits, Michigan is going to need experienced and tested leaders to step up, especially leaders that are experienced in the appropriations and budget process, to bring new ideas that bring new jobs to the State. I've been very pleased with the response and support people are giving me to take on that role, and I'm looking forward to meeting and listening to more residents and hearing their thoughts and concerns in the coming months."

Darwin Booher talks with supporters at his Michigan Senate campaign announcementThe outpouring of support at the announcement led Booher to conclude by saying that such grassroots involvement is exactly what the state needs. "Michigan is unquestionably a great place to live, work and raise a family. Our natural resources, our recreational resources, our recreational opportunities and our work ethic and our spirit are second to none. However, Michigan is struggling right now. Working together, we will rise to overcome this challenge. We have a history of doing so together. We have seen this great State transition from trapping to timber to mining to agriculture to manufacturing. By putting aside partisan politics, by bringing together diverse groups as we have done here today, by actually listening to one another, and by respectfully working together, we will transition Michigan into the 21st Century so that our children and their grandchildren will have good jobs available to them and be able to enjoy all this great State has to offer. I look forward to offering such leadership and representing all the people of the 11 counties that comprise the 35th Senate District."

Booher is a graduate of Evart High School, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bank School and Michigan Assessor's School. Prior to his election to the state Legislature, he worked as a manager at Citizens Bank and as vice-president of Bank One for a combined 40 years. He also has farmed his entire life, and for 28 years owned and operated a small business and therefore has a clear understanding of how government can impact small businesses.

Booher's understanding of local needs is also the result of serving 28 years as Osceola Township supervisor and assessor; been on the Board of Trustees for Spectrum Health, Reed City Campus and a charter member of the Evart Downtown Development Association (1984-2000) and the Local Development Finance Authority (1990-2004). He is past-president of the Evart Jaycees and a life member of the Evart Chamber of Commerce.

Booher and his wife Jan have been married for forty-five years and raised four children and now enjoy spending time with their six grandchildren. They have also hosted nine exchange students from all over the world. He is an avid outdoorsman and a member of the National Rifle Association. Additionally, as state representative he has been endorsed by Right to Life.

As a state representative he has earned the Champion of Commerce Award from the Michigan Chamber for his support of strengthening business in the state and he was named the Michigan Association of Timbermen's 2008 Legislator of the Year.