Pam Byrnes

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Pam Byrnes
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 52nd district
In office
January 1, 2005 – December 31, 2010
Preceded by Gene DeRossett
Succeeded by Mark Ouimet
Personal details
Born (1947-06-25) June 25, 1947 (age 67)
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kent Brown
Profession Attorney

Pam Byrnes (born June 25, 1947) is a former Democratic State Representative in the Michigan State House of Representatives, representing the 52nd District which covers parts of Washtenaw County.[1] On July 18, 2013, Pam Byrnes announced that she will run as a Democratic candidate to challenge Republican Representative Tim Walberg in Michigan's 7th congressional district.[2]


Byrnes is a lawyer and small business owner, and lives on a small farm outside of Chelsea, Michigan with her husband, Kent Brown. She is the former director of Washtenaw County Friend of the Court. She served as the Executive Director of the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute, a program that provides University of Michigan students and faculty a platform to engage in engineering education and research in an international setting, often collaborating with Michigan businesses, such as General Motors and TRW Automotive.[3]

State legislative career[edit]

Byrnes was elected to the State House in 2004, beating Republican Joe Yekulis by over 5000 votes.[4] She competed with Yekulis for the section of western Washtenaw County that he had represented on the County Commission for the past decade. In 2006, Byrnes was the lone Democrat running for State Representative in the district. She faced Republican Shannon Brown in the general election, and she was reelected by over 11000 votes.[5] Byrnes ran for re-election to the State House for the final time in November 2008, due to Michigan term limits. Byrnes' Republican opponent was Eric Lielbriedis, of Saline. She was reelected with over 62% of the vote, and a margin of over 16000 votes.[6] While in the House, Byrnes served as House Speaker Pro Tempore.[7]

On December 13, 2009, Pam Byrnes announced her candidacy for State Senate in Michigan's 18th district at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse in Ypsilanti's Depot Town.[8] Five days before the election, an article in a Michigan newspaper revealed that a right-wing Political Action Committee funded by Republican leaders including Richard (Dick) DeVos made two independent expenditures promoting Pam Byrnes and one independent expenditure criticizing her opponent. The Great Lakes Education Project PAC promotes the privatization of schools and lobbies for "choice" in public education.[9] Byrnes lost the Democratic primary to Rebekah Warren, 55-41%. Warren would go on to win the general election.

2014 Congressional election[edit]

On July 18, 2013, Pam Byrnes announced her candidacy for Congress in Michigan's 7th congressional district. In announcing her candidacy, Byrnes stated, “Washington is broken and Rep. Tim Walberg is part of the problem. Michigan’s middle-class is paying the price for his partisan politics that put special interests and corporation before working families.”[10] Byrnes has been endorsed by EMILY's List.[11]


  1. ^ "State Representative Pam Byrnes". Michigan House Democrats. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Pam Byrnes announces she will run against Tim Walberg for Congress". Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Pam Byrnes for Congress". Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Official Election Results". Washtenaw County. November 16, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Official Election Results". Washtenaw County. 
  6. ^ "Official Election Results". Washtenaw County. 
  7. ^ "BREAKING: Former House Speaker Pro Tempore Pam Byrnes announces candidacy for the 7th Congressional District". Eclectablog. July 18, 2013. 
  8. ^ "State Rep. Pam Byrnes to run for state senate". December 10, 2009. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Stanton, Ryan J. "Group questions why right-wing Republican group is behind ads supporting Democrat Pam Byrnes" '''' July 27, 2010". LLC. July 15, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  10. ^ "House Democrats Land Michigan Recruit #MI07". Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  11. ^ Jaffe, Alexandra (July 22, 2013). "EMILY's List designates six female candidates as top recruits". The Hill. Retrieved August 7, 2013. 

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