Gary Peters (D)

Background:

Gary Peters is member of the U.S. Senate from Michigan running for re-election. Peters was elected to the Senate in 2014, defeating Terri Lynn Land (R), Jim Fulner (Libertarian), Richard Matkin (U.S. Taxpayers), and Chris Wahmhoff (Green), and taking the seat vacated by Sen. Carl Levin.

Before he was elected to the U.S. Senate, Peters served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Michigan’s 9th Congressional District from 2009-2013 and Michigan’s 14th Congressional District from 2013-2015.

From 2003 to 2007, Peters served as the commissioner of the Michigan Lottery.

Peters was born in Pontiac in 1958, and graduated from Alma College in 1980. He later went on the received his MBA from the University of Detroit and his J.D. from Wayne State University.

Before starting his career in politics, Peters worked as a professor and an investment banker. He also served in the United States Naval Reserve.

Peters is a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Peters also serves on the Joint Economic Committee, Committee on Armed Services, and Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

In May, Peters was ranked as the 12th most bipartisan senator and 3rd most bipartisan Democrat by the Lugar Center and McCort School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. For more information, check out his campaign website. 

Endorsements:

Former President Barack Obama

Former Vice President Joe Biden

Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) PAC, an organization working to increase the number of African Americans in the U.S. Congress, support non-Black candidates that champion our interests, and promote African American participation in the political process.

The Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club, America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. The group works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action.

Clean Water Action, Michigan’s largest grassroots conservation group with over 131,000 members across the state.

Human Rights Campaign, the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization.

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund, a group that works to elect candidates who will implement sound environmental laws and policies, and defeat those who stand in the way of progress.

Issues:

Strengthening Agriculture & Rural Communities: “Gary is proud to have voted for the bipartisan Farm Bill in 2014 to support Michigan’s thriving agricultural industry. The Farm Bill provides much-needed certainty to our farmers and agricultural producers while investing in the success of our small towns and rural communities.”

Investing in Education: “Gary is committed to a strong public education system that provides students with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century global economy. That means access to quality public schools for all children and affordable higher education for all who choose to pursue it.” Peters helped write the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act, while serving in the House of Representatives. During his time in the U.S. Senate, Peters helped introduce legislation to allow borrowers with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at lower interest rates available to new borrowers, as well as introduced bipartisan legislation to help private student loan borrowers rehabilitate defaulted loans and remove the default from their credit report after making a series of on-time payments.

Protecting Our Great Lakes & Environment: “Representing a state that borders four of the five Great Lakes, Gary knows firsthand how important it is for our environment and our economy that we protect our natural resources.” Peters is a member of the bipartisan Senate Great Lakes Task Force. Peters has pushed for greater funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. He is also advocates for enhanced oversight of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline running through the Straits of Mackinac. Peters is working to permanently authorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and has introduced the Vehicle Innovation Act to improve advanced vehicle technology R&D that will boost fuel economy, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Creating Jobs & Growing Our Economy: “Gary’s top priority in the Senate is growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs in Michigan and strengthening our middle class.” Peters is a member of the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee and has introduced bipartisan bills to promote investments in vehicle-to-infrastructure technology and to support smart investments in R&D for clean vehicle technologies. While serving in the House of Representatives, Peters helped write the Small Business Jobs Act, which makes it easier for small, community-based financial institutions to increase their capacity to lend and has resulted in billions of dollars in new small business lending activity.

Recent Legislation:

In 2019, Peters’ bipartisan efforts with Senator (R-OH) secured increased funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for the first time since the program was established nearly a decade ago.

In 2020, Peters’ Support for Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act was signed into law. It’s aimed at increasing veterans’ access to financial assistance they can use in connection with an apprenticeship program.

In May 2020, Peters introduced the Direct Support for Communities Act which would provide local governments with direct federal relief that can be used to pay for essential services and offset lost revenues and increased costs from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peters introduces the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act of 2020 to help Great Lakes communities address rising water levels and shoreline erosion. The bipartisan bill would establish loans that local governments could access to help mitigate the impact of rising water levels, coastal erosion and other damage caused by natural disasters in a more cost-effective way.

In April 2020 Peters announced a proposal for the “COVID-19 Heroes Fund,” to provide pandemic premium pay to reward, retain and recruit essential workers.

Top Donor for Peters Include:

  • University of Michigan
  • Democracy Engine
  • General Dynamics
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Ford Motor Co.

*Donor information comes from opensecrets.org. Please note: The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations’ PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families.