Rebekah Lynn Warren (born November 25, 1971) is an American Democratic politician from Ann Arbor, Michigan, representing the 18th District of the Michigan Senate since January 1, 2011. She was elected to this position on November 2, 2010, beating Republican opponent John Hochstetler, 65.5% to 34.5%. Previously, she served two-terms as State Representative for Michigan's 53rd District, from 2007 to 2010.
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
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.
Warren is a progressive Democrat, subscribing to tenets of social equity, environmental conservation and liberal fiscal policies.
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.
Environmental issues topped Warren's agenda in the state legislature in 2007-2008. 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."
Warren and mother-in-law Alma Wheeler Smith introduced legislation in 2009 to provide free college tuition for Michigan residents 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. Warren defeated Byrnes in the Primary Election with 55.7% of the vote.
Warren is married to former Washtenaw County Commissioner Conan Smith. and is the daughter-in-law of Alma Wheeler Smith.
|State Representative||2010||60,333||31,771||John Hochstetler|
|State Senate||2014||61,421||23,745||Terry Linden|