Rebekah Warren
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 55th district
In office
January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2021
Preceded byAdam Zemke
Succeeded byFelicia Brabec
Member of the Michigan Senate
from the 18th district
In office
January 1, 2011 – January 1, 2019
Preceded byLiz Brater
Succeeded byJeff Irwin
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 53rd district
In office
January 1, 2007 – January 1, 2011
Preceded byChris Kolb
Succeeded byJeff Irwin
Personal details
Born (1971-11-25) November 25, 1971 (age 49)
Owosso, Michigan
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Conan Smith
Alma materUniversity of Michigan

Rebekah Lynn Warren (born November 25, 1971) is an American Democratic politician from Ann Arbor, Michigan, representing the 55th District of the Michigan House of Representatives since January 1, 2019.[1] She was elected to this position on November 6, 2018, beating Republican opponent Bob Baird, 74% to 26%. Previously, she served two terms as State Representative for Michigan's 53rd District, from 2007 to 2010, and two terms in the Michigan Senate, from 2010 to 2018. She was arrested for drunk driving on December 26, 2019.

Background

Warren was raised in Owosso, Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan, majoring in political science. In 1993 she joined the staff of State Representative Mary Schroer of Ann Arbor, Michigan and later that of State Representative Hubert Price of Pontiac, Michigan. From 1999 to 2006 she was the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Michigan, the state affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

House of Representatives

Rebekah Warren waves to crowd in 2011 Ypsilanti Independence Day Parade
Rebekah Warren waves to crowd in 2011 Ypsilanti Independence Day Parade

She was elected to a two-year term in the Michigan House of Representatives in 2006 and was subsequently reelected in 2008. Warren chaired the House Great Lakes and Environment Committee since and sat on the Judiciary Committee, the Tax Policy Committee, and the Oversight and Investigations Committee. She also co-chaired the Michigan BioTech Caucus with Republican Senator Randy Richardville.

Political views

Warren is a progressive Democrat, subscribing to tenets of social equity, environmental conservation and liberal fiscal policies.

Women's rights

Warren is an ardent supporter of gender equity and has championed abortion rights. In 2005 she was recognized for her leadership by the National Women's Political Caucus of Michigan with their annual Millie Award. NOW of Michigan named her "Legislator of the Year" in 2009.

She has sponsored or cosponsored legislation to prevent pay discrimination, provide emergency contraception, extend family medical leave to adopting parents, and provide support and protections for sexual assault survivors.[2]

Environmental protection

Environmental issues topped Warren's agenda in the state legislature in 2007-2008[citation needed]. She championed the passage of the Great Lakes Compact and associated legislation to govern withdrawals of the state's groundwater. The Center for Michigan touted the package as "the most important accomplishment to come out of the Michigan legislature this year."[3]

Education

Warren and mother-in-law Alma Wheeler Smith introduced legislation in 2009 to provide free college tuition for Michigan residents [4] by raising the state income tax.

2010 State Senate race

In 2010, Warren competed with fellow Democrat Pam Byrnes for the Democratic nomination for the 18th Michigan Senate seat to succeed Liz Brater. Five days before the primary election, an article in a Michigan newspaper revealed that ads for Byrnes and attacking Warren were financed by The Great Lakes Education Project, a Political Action Committee (PAC) funded in part by Republicans Dick and Betsy DeVos. The Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) lobbies for choice, accountability and quality in education and assists candidates that support education reform.[5] Warren defeated Byrnes in the primary election with 55.7% of the vote.[6]

Personal life

Until 2017,[7] Warren was married to Washtenaw County Commissioner Conan Smith[8] and was the daughter-in-law of Alma Wheeler Smith.[9]

DUI arrest

On the evening of December 26, 2019, Warren was arrested in Auburn Hills, MI, on suspicion of DUI. Police had received several calls in relation to an apparently impaired driver at approximately 11 p.m. Police dashcam footage showed Warren's Jeep driving erratically and colliding with the right wall of northbound I-75 before continuing on.

When finally stopped, Warren told police she was on her way home to Ann Arbor. She also told the arresting officer that she had consumed 2-3 glasses of wine "just a minute ago" and subsequently failed a field sobriety test administered at the scene.

Warren refused to take a breathalyzer test and was taken by police to McLaren Hospital in Pontiac where testing showed her blood alcohol level was .21, almost triple the legal limit.[10]

Police dashcam footage showed Warren telling police at the scene "You understand there's going to be a moment where we're both going to be on TV", adding "I'm elected. I'm a senator. This is going to be the most famous arrest you've ever made."[10]

On February 18, 2020, Warren pled guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.[11]

On May 27, 2020, Warren was sentenced to one year of probation and 10 days of community service.[12]

Elections

Position Election Year Votes Opponent's
Votes
Opponent
State Representative 2010 60,333 31,771 John Hochstetler[13]
State Senate 2014 61,421 23,745 Terry Linden[13]

References

  1. ^ "State Representative Rebekah Warren". warren.senatedems.com. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Michigan Legislature - Search Bills by Sponsor". Legislature.mi.gov. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  3. ^ Philip Power, "Huge Breakthrough in Lansing" Center for Michigan, 27 Jun 2008.
  4. ^ Tim Martin, "Plan would boost income tax to pay Mich. tuition" Chicago Tribune, 31 Mar. 2009.
  5. ^ Posted on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 12:29 p.m. (2010-07-27). "Stanton, Ryan J. "Group questions why right-wing Republican group is behind ads supporting Democrat Pam Byrnes" ''annarbor.com'' July 27, 2010". Annarbor.com. Retrieved 2018-01-25.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2012-07-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Conan Smith". Ann Arbor Votes. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  8. ^ "Conan Smith drops out of running for county job amid messy controversy". Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  9. ^ Judy McGovern, "08 election another milestone for political family," Ann Arbor News, 08 Nov. 2008.
  10. ^ a b "State Rep. arrested for alleged DUI in Auburn Hills was nearly 3 times the legal limit". WXYZ. January 31, 2020. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  11. ^ Gordan, Virginia (February 18, 2020). "State Rep. Rebekah Warren enters plea in drunk driving case". www.michiganradio.org. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  12. ^ "State Rep. Rebekah Warren sentenced to probation, community service on drunk driving charge". www.mlive.com. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Michigan State Senate District 18". Ballotpedia. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
Michigan House of Representatives
Preceded by
Chris Kolb
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives for the 53rd District
2007–2011
Succeeded by
Jeff Irwin
Preceded by
Adam Zemke
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives for the 55th District
2019–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Michigan Senate
Preceded by
Elizabeth S. Brater
Member of the Michigan Senate for the 18th District
2011–2019
Succeeded by
Jeff Irwin