By Brandon Hall
(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)
The race for RNC Committeewoman heated up big time Friday morning as Mary Whiteford of South Haven declared her candidacy to replace Ronna Romney McDaniel as Michigan's female representative to the Republican National Committee.
She joins Isabelle Terry and Kathleen Berden as the declared candidates while State Rep. Cindy Gamrat ruminates on a possible run.
Gamrat bested Whiteford and Allegan Twp. Supervisor Steve Schultz in a fierce primary battle in the 80th State House district to determine who would replace popular outgoing State Rep. Bob Genetski.
Whiteford has stayed active after the primary by founding the Allegan County Republican Women's Club. They feature monthly female speakers from legislators, CEO's, and more. Monday, they will host State Sen. Margaret O'Brien.
Whiteford, a Nurse, Northern Illinois grad, and mother of 3, helped her husband found a financial consulting firm they own, Whiteford Wealth Management. They have been in business almost 30 years and have clients nationwide.
|Whiteford, center, with son Ken, left, and husband Kevin, right|
Whiteford, in an email to members of the Michigan Republican Party's State Committee, said that "Over the next month or so before our state committee meeting you will be receiving information from all of the candidates for national committeewoman. I would be honored if you would consider my broad base of experiences, networks that I have developed, communication skills, passion and energy. I truly want to know what you think.".
They will decide in a few weeks who will replace Romney McDaniel at the RNC. Read the email in full below:
Thank you for all of the great conversations this week.
I have spent the past few days having conversations with you and other state committee members about what you expect from your national committeewoman. I appreciate learning more about you and your lives and passions. We are all united in our desire to grow our party, uphold our core values as exemplified in our party platform and our constitution, and elect strong, principled leaders to represent us at the state and national level. Many of you have expressed to me that you want a woman with integrity, passion and great communication skills to represent you at the national level. You want someone to fight for the Republicans of our state, uphold our platform and the constitution, and unite and grow our party. You also want someone who will fundraise and get presidential candidates to come to Michigan. I can do this!
I grew up in the rural area of a small Midwest town. My father was a union boilermaker without a high school education. My 3 younger siblings and I worked hard on our small farm. I took out student loans and worked my way through college to earn my B.S. in nursing.
Kevin and I met while in college and married after graduation. We have been married for 28 years. I dedicated my career to pediatrics: neurosurgery, home health, parent education (I was a CPR instructor) and emergency. I worked at an inner city children's hospital for 15 years, caring for children from all socioeconomic levels. I truly learned that no matter our backgrounds, we are all just people, doing our best under all sorts of conditions. Every child needed me to be professional and caring, and their families needed support during a very scary time.
During this time Kevin and I raised 3 children. We started our own accounting business from scratch back in 1997. Kevin has his CPA so he quit his job, cashed out his small 401K, I picked up hours at the hospital, and he went door to door building up a client base.
Family, faith and hard work: that is the foundation of our success. With Kevin often working 80 or more hours a week, 15 years ago I quit my hospital job to raise our children and help with our business. We have transitioned into offering wealth management and financial services. I got involved in our community with things that mattered to our family: our church, our schools, our town and our state. As a business owner, I learned first hand that the core values of the Republican platform was the true intent of our forefathers. I have dedicated my time and resources to supporting Republican candidates since then.
We built our home in South Haven 8 years ago. Michigan is the home that we have always been searching for. The people here are the kindest, most passionate and hard working that we have ever known. We built our office building 6 years ago and moved our business to South Haven. Our 27 year old son, Scott, graduated from Loyola Law School 2 years ago, joined our company, married his high school sweetheart, Kary, and have a beautiful 9 month old daughter (yes, I'm a grandma!). Our 24 year old daughter, Alisa, is attending Ottawa County's fire academy and is a volunteer fire fighter for Graafschap Fire Department in Allegan County. She is finishing a phlebotomy program at Lake Michigan College. Our 19 year old son, Ken, is a freshman at Grand Valley State University and is pursuing a business degree, either accounting or finance. We moved my mom, Joanne, here 5 years ago, as well as our 24 year old nephew, Tom. Tom works for us and has a home in Holland.
Most recently, I committed 10 months to running for the House of Representatives for the 80th District in Allegan County. The experience of personally visiting over 6,500 homes in a very rural county was life changing to me. I met so many different people and learned about them, their families and their lives. I also met people from all over our state. Although I did not win my race, it is an experience that I will cherish forever.
My current roles:
Owner: Whiteford Wealth Management, South Haven. We have clients all over the country.
Vice Chair: Allegan County Republican Party (delegate from Casco township)
President and founder: Allegan County Republican Women's Club
Slate Chair: Allegan County Republican Party
State Committeewoman representing the 6th District, I have also begun coordinating fundraisers for the 6th district.
Commissioner: Michigan Women's Commission, I coordinate and help with events raising awareness of Human Trafficking across the state and am working on veteran events.
Member: Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force
Board Member: Allegan County Mental Health Authority
Board Member: Forever Curious Children's Museum (Fennville)
Board Member: South Haven D.D.A.
Member of the following chambers of commerce: West Coast (Holland-Zeeland, I am on their public policy committee), South Haven, Allegan, Cornerstone Alliance (St. Joseph area), and Michigan.
Member: N.R.A. and the South Haven Gun Club
Member: South Haven Yacht Club
Member: Patient Advisory Council, South Haven Hospital
Member: South Allegan Right to Life
Parishioner: St. Basil's Church, South Haven
Registered Nurse: I have an active license in Michigan
I care about what you think.
Over the next month or so before our state committee meeting you will be receiving information from all of the candidates for national committeewoman. I would be honored if you would consider my broad base of experiences, networks that I have developed, communication skills, passion and energy. I truly want to know what you think.
Feel free to send me a friend request on Facebook, message me through Facebook or by email. You may call or text me as well.
You can also find me on LinkedIn.