As 2021 begins, very little has changed from a public policy perspective. Michigan continues to confront the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the many interrelated issues the pandemic brought to light. An array of innovative economic and strategic actions will be required to continue bringing the state back to full strength.
Fortunately, Michigan’s new Legislature appears ready to meet these challenges.
Michigan’s executive branch and Senate will remain in place until 2022, at minimum, and the Republican party has retained control of the state House with 25 percent of its members arriving new this year. This level of experienced leadership will help ensure policy leaders can hit the ground running, so to speak, when it comes to advancing the initiatives necessary to take Michigan further in the years to come.
The Michigan State Medical Society is proud to serve as the recognized voice for our state’s medical community, and we look forward to advancing the needs of our state’s physicians and patients with all state policy leaders. We trust this resource will be useful as you get to know your own local legislator in the days and weeks to come.
2021 INCOMING HOUSE LAWMAKERS
Shri Thanedar, Democrat
Thanedar is a business owner, scientist, and author. He emigrated from India to the U.S. in 1979 and has since completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry and grown a pharmaceutical and chemical research services company from just three employees to more than 450. He launched a second, 50-employee pharmaceutical company in 2010. Thanedar previously ran in the 2018 Michigan gubernatorial primary.
Abraham Aiyash, Democrat
Aiyash was born and raised in Michigan, the son of Yemeni emigrants. He has served as training and political leadership director of Michigan United, a Hamtramck city commissioner, a state House staffer, and surrogate for Bernie Sanders during the 2020 presidential campaign. He is an active mentor for refugee children and holds a degree from Michigan State University.
Helena Scott, Democrat
A lifelong Detroiter, Scott has 15 years of experience as a community and labor organizer. She has worked for Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice and as a training coordinator for the League of Woman Voters (LWV) of Detroit. Scott is active in the Coalition of Labor Union Women and the NAACP. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marygrove College.
Stephanie Young, Democrat
Young has 30 years of public service under her belt, as former executive director of the Community Education Commission, neighborhood city hall manager for three Detroit mayors, outreach manager for Detroit Area Agency on Aging, and the chief of staff and legislative liaison for three state representatives. She is an active board member for numerous southeast Michigan nonprofits. Young holds a bachelor’s degree from MSU.
Mary Cavanagh, Democrat
Before coming to the Michigan Legislature, Cavanagh served as director of project development for New Start Construction Company. She was born in Redford Township, Michigan, and pursued her undergraduate education at Wayne State University.
Tullio Liberati, Democrat
Liberati is a lifelong Allen Park resident. For the past two decades, he has operated Liberati and Sons Construction. He attended Wayne State University.
Ranjeev Puri, Democrat
Puri has worked professionally as a business manager at Fiat Chrysler since 2013. After work hours, he has been active in numerous political and community organizations. He has a master’s degree from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.
Richard Steenland, Democrat
A lifelong resident of Roseville, Steenland has previously served as Roseville city clerk, council member, and mayor pro tem. He is Accredited City Clerk through the State of Michigan and the past President of the Macomb County Clerks Association. He has an associate degree from Macomb Community College.
Regina Weiss, Democrat
Weiss comes to the Michigan Legislature with a great deal of classroom teaching experience. She has served as a high school English and social studies teacher in the Detroit Public Schools Community District. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University in 2009.
Samantha Steckloff, Democrat
Steckloff has been involved in politics since college, when she became the youngest city youth advisor in the country while earning a degree in political science at Purdue University. She has served on the Farmington Hills City Council for two terms. She also participates in numerous non-profit boards and commissions at the local level.
Kelly Breen, Democrat
Breen is an attorney and Novi City Council member. She has been affiliated with numerous Michigan non-profit and advocacy organizations, including the Michigan Municipal League, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, and others. She holds a bachelor’s degree from MSU and a J.D. from Wayne State University Law School.
Mark Tisdel, Republican
Tisdel grew up in Michigan and has served on the Rochester Hills City Council for the past eight years. He is a licensed insurance agent who specializes in medical liability. He also serves on the Older Persons’ Commission Governing Board and is Government Youth Council Liaison. He has a journalism degree from Drake University.
Robert Bezotte, Republican
A Vietnam War veteran with 33 years of law enforcement experience and 10 years of corporate involvement, Bezotte is a former county commissioner and Livingston County sheriff. He has been educated at the FBI National Academy and Eastern Michigan University.
David Martin, Republican
Martin has served has Genesee County commissioner since 2016 and was a member of the Davison City Council from 2009-2013. He has a military and security background and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1979 to 1999. David holds a degree in Homeland Security from Keiser University.
Felicia Brabec, Republican
Brabec is a clinical psychologist who has delivered clinical services at the University of Michigan and as a high school social worker and coach. She earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s of Notre Dame in 1995, a master’s degree from Boston College in 1997, and a Ph.D. from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in 2003.
Thomas (“TC”) Clements, Republican
Clements came to Michigan from Florida and Maine. Clements’ career experience includes working as the owner of a travel agency and as the chief operations officer of a manufacturing firm. He has also worked as a police officer, reaching the rank of Deputy Chief of Police. Most recently, he has served as Bedford Township Trustee.
Andrew Fink, Republican
Born in Superior Township, Michigan, Fink earned an undergraduate degree from Hillsdale College in May 2006 and a law degree from the University of Michigan in May 2010. He served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps from 2010 to 2016. He has a private law practice in Hillsdale.
Steve Carra, Republican
For the past three years, Carra has worked for State Rep. Steve Johnson. Previously, he was a research assistant at Acton Institute. He holds degrees in economic and political science from Western Michigan University.
Julie Rogers, Democrat
Rogers comes to the Legislature from the Kalamazoo County Commission, where she has served as chair. She also has been a member of the board of directors
of the Michigan Association of Counties, a member of the National Association of Counties’ Health Policy Steering Committee, and part of the 2019 class of Women in Government. Professionally, Rogers works as a physical therapist.
Christine Morse, Democrat
Morse has been a member of the Kalamazoo County Commission since 2018. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School. Her career experience includes working as an attorney from 1999 to 2002.
Pat Outman, Republican
Farmer. Excavator. Construction trade worker. All these words have applied at one time or another to Pat Outman, who is an active member of the Montcalm County community. He serves on the County Farm Bureau and is active in county-level Republican politics. He has a bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University.
Bryan Posthumus, Republican
Posthumus is a fourth-generation farmer. He holds a bachelor’s degree from MSU and has spent his career working as a farmer and consultant. Today, he is managing partner at the largest farmer owned and operated hopyard in the state of Michigan, which supports the state’s emerging microbrew sector.
Andrew Beelerm, Republican
Beeler is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and served in the United States Navy from 2010 to 2019. Andrew began pursuing his Masters in Public Policy at the University of Chicago, but opted to return to Michigan with the 83rd district House seat became available.
Amos O’Neal, Democrat
O’Neal has been active in Saginaw-area community leadership for many years, having served on the county commission, city council, and as mayor pro tem. He also is engaged in many local nonprofit and civic initiatives. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwood University.
Timothy Beson, Republican
Beson owns a family market in Bay City and has served as a school board member for Bangor Township Schools. He has a degree in business management from Saginaw Valley State University.
John (“JR”) Roth, Republican
A lifelong resident of northern Michigan, Roth has spent his career in the Traverse City tourism industry. He also has served on the Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation Board and the county Republican party. He holds an associate’s degree from Northwest Michigan College.
Ken Borton, Republican
For more than 40 years, Borton has run a small real estate and property management business. He also has chaired the Otsego County Board of Commissioners and helped lead various county associations at the state and national levels. He is a graduate of Liberty University.
John Damoose, Republican
Damoose is a broadcaster, producer and author with credits that include the Christian Broadcasting Network and the 700 Club. He co-authored “Red Sky in the Morning” with Dr. Bill Bright and is active in several non-profit organizations. Today he leads 45 North Productions and is active in the Harbor Springs community. He has a degree in political science from the University of Michigan.