For Gary, it has always been about family and putting Michigan first.
Gary grew up in Oakland County where his father, a WW II veteran, worked as a public school teacher for more than 30 years. His mother worked as a nurse’s aide and union steward with the SEIU. Gary saw how hard his parents worked to provide for him and his two sisters, and they instilled in him the importance of hard work, fairness, and integrity. That’s why at age 11, Gary started his own small business delivering newspapers. He bused tables at a Big Boy restaurant while in junior high, worked at a local retailer during high school and college, was an Eagle Scout and played varsity football at Rochester High School.
Today, Gary and his wife Colleen are the proud parents of three, a son and two daughters, and live in Oakland County.
Gary is a product of Michigan schools. He studied at Alma College and graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. While raising a family and working a full-time job, Gary took night classes and earned an M.A. in Philosophy from Michigan State University, a J.D. from Wayne State University Law School, and an M.B.A. (Finance) from the University of Detroit Mercy. He was recently awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Lawrence Technological University.
For more than 20 years, Gary was a successful businessman. As a financial advisor, he helped families plan for their retirement and their children’s college education.
At 34, Gary felt he could be doing more for his community and nation and joined the U.S. Navy Reserve. He became an expert pistol and rifle marksman, earned a Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist designation, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Gary was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
His Reserve duty included time in the Persian Gulf during Operation Southern Watch. After the September 11th terrorist attacks, Gary felt compelled to rejoin the U.S. Navy Reserve and once again serve his country.
Gary is passionate about the need to prepare and mentor our next generation of leaders. He has drawn on his business, management and government experience to teach courses in finance at Wayne State University, strategic management and business policy at Oakland University, and was the Griffin Endowed Chair of American Government at Central Michigan University.
Frustrated by the gridlock he saw in Washington, in 2008, Gary ran for the U.S. House of Representatives because he believed that middle class families, like his, did not have a strong, independent voice in Congress. Although he’s been in Washington only a little over four years, Gary has drawn on his business background to make Washington more transparent and accountable for our tax dollars. He’s led efforts in Congress to eliminate wasteful, duplicative, and unnecessary spending, and is constantly working to responsibly reduce the deficit. Gary believes Washington can budget the right way without compromising vital programs like Medicare and Social Security that middle class families and seniors count on.
Drawing on his own business experience, Gary also helped write the most significant piece of small business legislation in decades that focused on ensuring Michigan small businesses had access to the credit they needed to grow and create thousands of jobs.
Gary continues to work tirelessly to deliver small business tax cuts and to promote growing sectors like advanced manufacturing in Michigan.
Gary is leading the fight against bad trade deals, which cost us good-paying jobs in Michigan, and is working to level the playing field for our businesses and workers. As an outspoken advocate for Michigan, he called on the President to crack down on China and Japan for manipulating their currency while closing their doors to Michigan-made goods. Gary also took on Wall Street greed and helped write sweeping legislation to protect our families from another financial crisis.
Gary knows that times are still very tough for too many Michigan families. He is committed to building an America where anyone willing to work hard and play by the rules, can find a good-paying job, afford health care, live in a safe neighborhood, send their children to a good school, and retire with dignity. Now, more than ever, Michigan families deserve an independent voice, like Gary, fighting for them in Washington.