|Rick Isaiah Baxter|
Rick Baxter official portrait
July 18, 1979 |
Jackson County U.S.
|Occupation||Businessman, Politician, and Fmr. Chairman of the Jackson County Republican Party|
|Children||Isaac Isaiah, Rachel Ann, & Seth Alexander|
Baxter's previous positions have been the chairman of the Jackson County Republican Party, the Business Development Director for his family's company Baxter Machine & Tool Co., Inc. in Jackson, Michigan, District Director for Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) (2007), Republican State Representative in the Michigan House of Representatives (2005–2006), County Commissioner for Jackson County, Michigan (2003–2004), and holding several positions, most recently as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), for Baxter Machine & Tool Co., Inc. (1997–2004).
Baxter also preaches his local church, has taught a Bible class, and has served as their Treasurer since 2005. Rick Baxter is a graduate of Lenawee Christian School in Adrian, Michigan (1997) and received his Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Michigan (2003).
Elections & Public Service
Baxter's first campaign was in 2002 when he ran for the Jackson County (Michigan) Commission. He defeated the two-term incumbent Republican county commissioner in the primary and went on to win the seat, unopposed, in November.
In 2004, Baxter ran for an open seat for State Representative. He defeated two other Republicans in the primary. Baxter won a very tight general election, winning by 358 votes out of a total of 37,714.
As State Representative Baxter had 14 bills signed into law. In the summer of 2005 he published a controversial article in the Wall Street Journal titled "How to Skin a Wolverine." The article caught the ire of then Governor Jennifer Granholm who labeled his views "treasonous." During both years in the Michigan House he was rated by Inside Michigan Politics as "The Most Conservative Freshman" in the Michigan Legislature, rated second Most Conservative in the entire State in 2006.
For his next re-election, Baxter won the primary with over 65% of the vote but went on to lose his re-election bid in the general. Both parties combined spent almost 1.5 million dollars for their candidates in 2006.
In 2008 Baxter ran for the open seat of Jackson County Treasurer, but lost the election in November.
Baxter served as chair of the Jackson County Republican Party from 2007 to 2008. During that time he completely reorganized the local party by rewriting their by-laws and consolidating their committees to be more broad and effective. In his first major act as county chair he secured Karl Rove as the keynote speaker for the party's major fundraiser of the year, the Lincoln Day Dinner. Under Baxter's leadership the event raised over $20,000, well over double what any preceding Lincoln Day event had raised.
In 2008 he has started to organize the Party to work more closely with candidates, at all levels, to share costs, strategies, and resources. In 2008 Baxter also secured the Acting Administrator of the US Small Business Administration, Jovita Carranza, as the county party's keynote speaker for their annual Lincoln Day fundraiser. In June 2008, Baxter resigned his position as chair to run for Jackson County Treasurer.
In 2008, Baxter was awarded the "Republican of the Year" by the Jackson County Republican Party.
Baxter's business career started after he graduated in 1997 from Lenawee Christian School in Adrian, Michigan. He began working in the summer of 1997 as a CAD Tech/Accounting Assistant and worked his way up to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in 2003. He left the company at the end of 2004 to become State Representative.
In October 2007, he left his position as District Director for Congressman Tim Walberg to rejoin the family business as their Business Development Director. In this position he handled Baxter Machine's business development, sales, and customer relations.
In November 2008 he founded Driven Motors, a used vehicle dealership based solely online. The business grew from there and added a physical presence in Jackson by the summer of 2010. In late 2010, Driven Motors added a vehicle repair facility for both its dealership and open to the public. By early 2011, the company doubled its capacity and doubled its staff. Driven Motors has an aggressive marketing campaign focused on the Jackson area that includes radio advertising, local sport sponsorships, and Jackson based event sponsorships. Their slogan "Driven to earn your trust" apparently has resonated with the local community. They boast an "all Jackson" staff with all staff members not only living in the Jackson area, but also having grown up in Jackson as well. Rick also co-hosts a radio show on WKHM-AM focusing on auto related issues. Starting in the summer in 2011, the company added In-House financing for vehicles.
- 2008 Jackson County Treasurer General Election
- Rick Baxter (R), 44.9%
- Karen Coffman (D), 54.5%
- 2006 State House (64) General Election
- Rick Baxter (R), 47.4%
- Martin Griffin (D), 52.6%
- 2006 State House (64) Primary Election
- Rick Baxter (R), 65.3%
- Bob Ross (R), 34.7%
- 2004 State House (64) General Election
- Rick Baxter (R), 49.8%
- Martin Griffin (D), 48.8%
- Bob Ross Write-In, 1.3%
- 2004 State House (64) Primary Election
- Rick Baxter (R), 44.3%
- Bob Ross (R), 28.8%
- Jon Williams (R), 26.8%
- 2002 Jackson County Commission (05) Primary Election
- Rick Baxter (R), 40.2%
- Alan Miltich (R), 32.4%
- Judy Reynolds (R), 23.0%
- Trish O'Shea (R), 4.4%
- Official Congressional Directory, 2007-2008: 110th Congress. Government Printing Office. 2007. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-16-078879-6.
- "State Representative Rick Baxter R–64th Representative District". Michigan Manual 2005-2006 (Legislative Council, State of Michigan): 170. 2006. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
- "Alumni Focus Rick Baxter '97". The Signal (Lenawee Christian School). Fall 2003. p. 8. Retrieved November 8, 2010.