Rick Snyder

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Rick Snyder
Rick Snyder.jpg
Governor of Michigan
In office
January 1, 2011 - Present
Term ends
January 2015
Years in position 4
PredecessorJennifer Granholm
Base salary$177,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limits2 terms
Bachelor'sUniversity of Michigan (1977)
Master'sUniversity Of Michigan Business School (1979)
J.D.University of Michigan Law School (1982)
ProfessionExecutive, Venture Capitalist
Office website
Rick Snyder is the Republican Governor of Michigan. He won the Republican bid in the August 3, 2010 primary against Mike Bouchard, Mike Cox, Tom George and Pete Hoekstra. He won an easy victory over Democrat Virg Bernero in the midterm general elections and took office in January 2011.


A native of Battle Creek, Michigan, Rick Snyder had earned three degrees by the age of 23, all from the University of Michigan system where he also briefly taught accounting.

After completing law school, Snyder joined Coopers & Lybrand for nine years before accepting a position with Gateway as an executive vice president. He moved up to become the company's President & COO in 1996, leaving the company a year later.

Since then, Snyder has found two investment and venture capital firms, Avalon in 1997 and Ardesta LLC in 2009.

He and his wife, Sue, married since 1987, reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan with their three children.


  • University of Michigan law School, J.D., 1982
  • University of Michigan Business School, MBA with Distinction, 1979
  • University of Michigan, Bachelors of General Studies with Distinction, 1977

Political Career

Governor of Michigan (2011-Present)

Snyder was first elected in 2010.

Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")

On February 6, 2013, Snyder spoke in support of a 25% expansion of Michigan's Medicaid rolls under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. "We're all here to support expanding Medicaid...We're moving forward with care for people who need it," he said to a coalition of groups advocating for Michigan's inclusion in the optional federal program.[1] In order for Michigan to participate in the expansion, Snyder must induce the Republican-controlled State Legislature to overcome its skepticism about the federal health care law, under which states are promised three free years of expansion before federal government will begin paring back its funding. According to Sen. Roger Kahn (R), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, when the federal support is reduced to 90% in 2017, the state will owe an estimated $150 million-$200 million per year thereafter, not adjusting for inflation. Snyder argues that adding 470,000 low income Michigan residents currently ineligible for Medicaid to the rolls does not have to drain the state's coffers. His 2014 fiscal budget proposal to the Legislature included putting $103 million in a "health savings account," where half of the state's savings from no longer having to pay for those mental health services be set aside for 2017. "This is all about providing better care at a lower cost," Snyder said.[1]

Tax reform

Snyder promised during his campaign to eliminate the “Michigan Business Tax,” which was costly and difficult to calculate. He was able to push through a bill in June 2011 replacing the tax with a flat 6 percent corporate income tax. The state will recover the $1.8 billion in lost business tax revenues with $1.5 billion in higher personal income tax revenues. Current Michigan law requires the state income tax to drop to 3.9 percent by 2015. Governor Snyder's measure keeps the income tax rate at its current 4.35 percent until January 1, 2013, when it will drop to 4.25 percent. During 2011, Michigan also became the first state in more than 50 years to cut state-level unemployment benefits. [2]

Snyder was also able to secure a controversial measure to extend the state's income tax to pensions, a move the governor said would bring $343 million in new revenue during the coming fiscal year. Public employees, who stand to lose about $90 million of the $343 million total, reacted with outrage. The Michigan State Employees Association promised to file a lawsuit to block the pension tax provision, arguing that taxing state employee pensions violated the constitutional prohibition against "impairing or diminishing a vested public pension." Snyder beat employees to the punch, asking the state supreme court to issue an advisory opinion on the issue by October 1.[3]

Recall effort

See also: Rick Snyder recall, Michigan (2012)

Recall language was approved against Snyder on April 9, 2012. It focused on his spending cuts that affected education, support for the emergency manager law, as well as a number of other issues.[4]

The group behind the effort, Michigan Rising, announced on June 7, 2012 that they were ending the campaign after the failed recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) made it clear how difficult their goal would be.[5]

In order to force a recall, organizers would have had to collect 806,522 valid signatures, which accounted for 25% of the votes cast in the 2010 gubernatorial election, within a 90-day period.

See also: Rick Snyder recall, Michigan (2011)

Following his support for giving expanding powers to officials designated as emergency managers for financially insolvent municipalities, Snyder became the target of a recall spearheaded by a consortium of center-left activism groups.

They began raising money and holding public events in late spring of 2011 and soon began collecting the nearly 1 million signatures they would need by July 1, 2011.

Early on, the chance that Snyder would be recalled were slim - something even those working to oust the governor conceded.

Organizers fell far short of their goal of 807,000 signatures by August 5 in order to get the measure on the November 8 ballot. Committee to Recall Rick Snyder communication director Tom Bryant said they would aim for a September 29 deadline to put it on a February 2012 ballot.[6]

On September 30, 2011, the group announced that it would fall short of its attempt to get on the February 2012 ballot.[7]


Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Rick Snyder endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [8]



See also: Michigan gubernatorial election, 2014

Snyder is up for re-election in 2014. In December 2012, in the wake of his passage of a "right-to-work" law that provoked heavy rioting, particularly from unions, a Public Policy Poll showed the governor's chances of winning another term having severely diminished compared to a similar poll released the previous month. His net approval tumbled a net -28 points, with respondents preferring each of the poll's four hypothetical Democratic challengers over Snyder for 2014.[9][10] Snyder has not announced whether he will seek re-election.

At a Republican leadership conference back in September 2011, Snyder told an interviewer that if he felt satisfied with the legacy he established during his first term, he would be inclined to pass the torch to "better, smarter people." He went on to say he's "happy to go fishing, go teach or do something else," indicating that a bid for different office was not on the 2014 agenda should he decline to run for re-election as governor.[11]


See also: Michigan gubernatorial election, 2010

Snyder first won election in 2010. He won by more than 18 points with 44.34% of eligible voters turning out. [12]

Governor of Michigan, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRick Snyder 58.1% 1,874,834
     Democratic Virg Bernero 39.9% 1,287,320
     Green Harley Mikkelson 0.6% 20,699
     U.S. Taxpayers Stacey Mathia 0.6% 20,818
     Libertarian Ken Proctor 0.7% 22,390
     Write-in Write-in candidates 0% 27
Total Votes 3,226,088

The primary was held August 3, 2010. Snyder's win was a slight upset in the GOP field. However, he had polled strongly against Democrat Virg Bernero since before the primary and led by double digits in the first post-primary surveys taken.

Governor of Michigan, 2010
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRick Snyder 36.4% 381,588
Pete Hoekstra 26.9% 281,695
Mike Cox 23% 240,677
Mike Bouchard 12.2% 127,422
Tom George 1.6% 17,002
Total Votes 1,048,384

Campaign donors

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Rick Snyder's donors each year.[13] Click [show] for more information.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Jennifer Granholm
Governor of Michigan
2011 - present
Succeeded by