Lapeer County Tea Party

Keeping the grass roots growing!!

Howell already at work in new Lansing office (From the 3-13 Lapeer County Press)

810-452-2616 •
Original Article HERE

 Though Gary Howell hasn’t been officially sworn in, the newly-elected representative for the 82nd District is ready to “hit the ground running.” Photo by Phil Foley

Though Gary Howell hasn’t been officially sworn in, the newly-elected representative for the 82nd District is ready to “hit the ground running.” 

Photo by Phil FoleyDEERFIELD TWP. — Gary Howell won’t officially be sworn in asLapeer County’s latest state representative until Wednesday, because the Speaker of the House is tending to his mother’s funeral. But Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. Howell was already in his 11th floor office across the street from the Capitol Building returning phone calls.

“I want to hit the ground running,” he said.

In Tuesday’s election Howell defeated former Imlay City Mayor Margaret Guerrero DeLuca and political newcomer Stacy Spilker taking 58.5 percent of the votes cast to find a replacement for disgraced former state representative Todd Courser.

Courser, a firstterm state representative, resigned last September following a scandal over his affair with Cindy Gamrat, a Plainwell Republican, and the failed attempt to cover it up.

Gamrat and Courser won their seats in the House riding a wave of Tea Party furor with campaigns that championed a defense of traditional family values.

The pair are now facing felony charges.

“I’ve got to restore respect for Lapeer County,” the 67-year-old Mayfield Township farmer and retired attorney said. He said he spent much of his first day in Lansing meeting with people and hiring a legislative director.

Noting that he, along with Allegan County’s Mary Whiteford and Grand Rapids’ David LeGrand are the “freshest of freshmen,” Howell said he tapped Rich Arizai, a 20-year veteran of the hall of Lansing as his legislative director.

“I really need a guy who knows Lansing,” Howell said. In Arizai he found someone who is “very experienced” and “has a deep understanding of the legislature.” Howell added, “As you know, this is a vast bureaucracy and I need someone who can tell me who to call when I need a question answered.”

Howell said the Legislature scheduled heavily toward the first half of the year and most of the state representatives have a two-and-a-half month jump on him, so there’s a lot of catching up to do. State lawmakers have already committed $130 million to the Flintwater crisis and the Detroit Public School (DPS) funding crisis is coming hard and fast on the Legislature. “It’s my understanding they’re (DPS) going to run out of money April 1,” Howell said.

On top of that, he has his own priorities for Lapeer County. Chief among them, jobs. “We have some excellent programs at Ed-Tech,” he said, “but there’s a lot more to do. We need job retraining for people who’ve lost their jobs.”

While all the House committee assignments held by Courser were temporarily filled following his resignation, Howell said the House will have to find committee assignments for himself, Whiteford and LeGrand. That, he said, won’t happen until sometime next week. Howell said he’d like to get a seat on the Agriculture Workforce Development and Regulatory Reform committees.

While he wouldn’t say what they are, Howell said he’s already drafted three bills for consideration.

It’s going to be an extremely busy few weeks for Howell. On April 19 he’ll have to be back in Lapeer to file for the August primary to seek the GOP nomination for his seat. Along with his legislative duties, Howell will have to spend much of the summer and fall campaigning for the first of what could be three two-year terms in Lansing.

Howell’s new digs are the same occupied by Courser and Kevin Daley before him. He said the house office building has 110 identical offices, numbered to match their district, each with a view of the Capitol Building. Other than the state-issued furniture and phone, which has the same number as before, 517-373- 1800, he found the office bare Tuesday.

He said he’s in the process of gathering things that will immediately say Lapeer County to people when they come in the office.

Friday morning he was at his beloved farm in Deerfield Township, feeding his horse and cattle hay.

“It’s a new day,” he said.

Return to top

Views: 28


You need to be a member of Lapeer County Tea Party to add comments!

Join Lapeer County Tea Party


Latest Activity

William Gavette posted a blog post

Collecting Signatures for Colbeck Campaign

   One of Michigan's most Conservative legislators has announced and is running for Governor of the state of Michigan. Pat Colbeck has led in many fronts over the last several years, From opposing Obamacare, fighting for Freedom to Work, and holding our state accountable, Sen. Colbeck has been there.  As part of the Colbeck for Governor Team, we are collecting the signatures for getting Sen. Colbeck on the ballot. If you live in Lapeer, Sanilac, Tuscola, St. Clair, Genesee, or Huron counties,…See More
Jun 7
William Gavette posted a status
"We are currently collecting signatures to get Sen. Patrick Colbeck on the ballot for Mi. Governor. Contact me to sign or help circulate"
Jun 7
William Gavette posted a blog post

New CPLs in county double in one year (From June 4, 2017 Lapeer County Press)

BY ANDREW DIETDERICH810-452-2609 • adietderich@mihomepaper.comOriginal Article HEREPhoto by Andrew DietderichLAPEER — The number of…See More
Jun 4
William Gavette posted blog posts
May 17
William Gavette posted a blog post

Lapeer Indivisible Team organized to resist President Trump’s agenda (From 3-26 Lapeer County Press)

LAPEER — Lapeer Indivisible Team (LIT), a new chapter of the national group, Indivisible, was recently launched in Lapeer County.As with other Indivisible groups organized to resist President Donald Trump’s agenda around the country, LIT’s purpose is to stand up for democracy through implementation of the “Indivisible Guide” and provide county residents opportunities to gather, share opinions and hold members of Congress accountable.LIT will focus attention on local members of Congress…See More
Apr 17
William Gavette posted blog posts
Feb 13
William Gavette posted a blog post

Tentative deal reached between LCS, teachers (From 1-29-2017 Lapeer County Press)

Tentative deal reached between LCS, teachersBY JEFF HOGAN810-452-2640 • jhogan@mihomepaper.comLAPEER — Culminating nearly 10 months of negotiations, Lapeer Community Schools officials announced Friday the district has reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract with the union representing its 270-plus teachers.The bargaining teams from the district and the Lapeer Education Association (LEA) met Thursday to finalize the terms of the contract.…See More
Jan 31
William Gavette posted a blog post

Daley, Howell may square off (From 1-22-17 Lapeer County Press)

GOP heavyweights consider Senate bidBY JEFF HOGAN810-452-2640 •…See More
Jan 22
Bill Koryciak is now a member of Lapeer County Tea Party
Dec 4, 2016
Anne Francisco is now a member of Lapeer County Tea Party
Oct 17, 2016
William Gavette posted blog posts
Mar 14, 2016
William Gavette posted a blog post

Felony charges against Judge Konschuh dropped (From the Tuesday, March 8th County Press)

FLINT — Judge Byron Konschuh’s nearly 20-month fight with the legal system has come to an end with all felony charges against him dismissed.After 6 ½ hours of mediation negotiations in front of retired Genesee County Circuit Court Robert Ransom in Tom Pabst’s Flint law offices, Shiawassee County Prosecutor Deanna Finnegan agreed Tuesday to drop the five felony charges against Konschuh.“The justice system won here,” Pabst said.Konshuch, whose annual salary is $140,000, has been on paid leave…See More
Mar 9, 2016
David Edward Bloch posted a blog post

Modern Political Conservatism: A Preliminary Obituary

 First, let me describe what I believe to be traditional or true political conservatism.  True political conservatism has five core principles: (1) Respect for the Constitution and its literal interpretation, (2) Limited federal government and respect for state’s rights, (3) Fiscal responsibility - low taxes, balanced budget, and low debt, (4) Individual liberty – defense of the Bill of Rights, and (5) A strong military.  The word conservatism, of course, may also apply to religious and moral…See More
Mar 9, 2016
William Gavette posted a status
"So sad. Everybody lost. Todd, Cindy, their Constituents, but most of all, their families..."
Nov 15, 2015
William Gavette posted a blog post

Turkelson not charging Joe Gamrat in Courser fiasco (From the 11-15-2015 County Press)

LAPEER — Lapeer County Prosecutor Tim Turkelson on Friday said his office will not be authorizing any charges following a criminal investigation regarding allegations that former state representative Todd Courser was the victim of a text message extortion scheme.Turkelson’s decision follows review of the extensive investigation conducted by the Michigan State Police.“The result of the investigation,” said Turkelson, “confirm that Joe Gamrat, the husband of former representative Cindy Gamrat,…See More
Nov 15, 2015
William Gavette posted a blog post

Candidates muster for packed forum (From the 10-18 2015 Lapeer County Press)

Candidates muster for packed forumBY JEFF HOGAN810-452-2640 •  Thirteen of 14…See More
Oct 18, 2015

© 2017   Created by William Gavette.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service