Brian Calley

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Brian Calley
Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley in Detroit 2016.jpg
63rd Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
In office
January 1, 2011 – January 1, 2019
GovernorRick Snyder
Preceded byJohn D. Cherry
Succeeded byGarlin Gilchrist
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 87th district
In office
January 1, 2007 – January 1, 2011
Preceded byGary Newell
Succeeded byMike Callton
Personal details
Born (1977-03-25) March 25, 1977 (age 42)
Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Julie Calley
EducationMontcalm Community College
Michigan State University (BA)
Grand Valley State University (MBA)
Harvard University (MPA)

Brian Nelson Calley (born March 25, 1977) is an American politician who served as the 63rd lieutenant governor of Michigan, from 2011 to 2019. A member of the Republican Party, Calley served as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011.

Calley is known for his advocacy for people with autism and their families; his daughter is autistic. Calley campaigned to require Michigan health insurance plans to include coverage for autism therapies, signing into law a package providing for such reforms as acting governor.[1][2]

Early life and political career[edit]

Calley was born in Dearborn, the third of six children. The family moved from Dearborn Heights to Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1982 where his father was stationed in the United States Army. By 1984, the family moved back to Michigan where Calley graduated from Ionia High School in Ionia, Michigan, in 1994. After attending Montcalm Community College[3] while a student at Ionia High School, he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Michigan State University in 1998 and a Master's in Business Administration from Grand Valley State University in 2000. In the 10 years preceding his election to the Michigan legislature, Calley held various positions within the banking industry, primarily making commercial loans. During this time he served two terms on Ionia County Board of Commissioners, both as Vice Chairperson.[4]

Calley was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2006 and re-elected in 2008. He served both terms in the minority, with the 2009-2010 term seeing the smallest Republican caucus in 40 years.[5] In the House he gained a reputation as an expert on tax policy and served as minority vice chair of the House Tax Policy Committee. He was named the 2008 "Legislator of the Year” by the state's Small Business Association, the first time a freshman lawmaker has received that designation.[6]

In 2010, despite securing the Republican nomination for state Senate days earlier, Calley was announced as gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder's running mate. Tea Party supporters from west Michigan momentarily contested Calley's nomination during the state Republican Convention at Michigan State University's Breslin Center in favor of Bill Cooper, a Norton Shores businessman and former candidate for Congress. Cooper withdrew his name from consideration and publicly threw his support behind Calley. In securing the nomination for lieutenant governor, the state Senate nomination was vacated and former state Representative Judy Emmons was chosen to fill the spot.[7][8]

Snyder and Calley went on to defeat Lansing Mayor Virgil Bernero and his running mate, Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence in the general election by 58% to 39%.[citation needed]

Lieutenant Governor (2011–2019)[edit]

Lieutenant Governor Calley takes the oath of office from Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly

Calley assumed office as the nation's youngest Lieutenant Governor and Michigan's youngest lieutenant governor since John Swainson in 1959.[9][10] Calley has undertaken an active role in the Snyder administration.[2]

In early 2011, Calley broke a 19-19 deadlock in the Michigan Senate, voting in favor of a massive tax reform package that eliminated the Michigan Business Tax and replaced it with a flat, six-percent corporate income tax. The package, a major goal of the Snyder administration, also reduced the state's individual income tax rate from 4.35 percent to 4.25 percent starting on January 1, 2013, and eliminated most of the state's exemptions and deductions.[11]

For two years, he attended weekly classes at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University before receiving his Master of Public Administration in spring 2015.[12]

In May 2017, Calley announced a campaign to make the legislature part-time.[13]

Calley unsuccessfully ran to succeed Snyder in the 2018 Michigan gubernatorial election. On August 7, 2018, he lost the Republican primary, receiving 25% of the vote, placing second behind Michigan state Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Autism advocacy[edit]

Calley, whose daughter has autism, is known for his outspoken advocacy for autism awareness. As a state lawmaker Calley served on the Health Policy Committee and supported autism insurance reform - unaware his own child actually had the disorder. He stated he first suspected his daughter's condition during a committee hearing as parents of afflicted children shared their similar experiences.[1][2][14]

As lieutenant governor, Calley is widely credited for leading a successful legislative push to require that insurance companies cover treatments for autism. He signed the bills into law as acting governor while Rick Snyder was on an unannounced trip to Afghanistan. Citing these efforts, Calley was named the 2011 "Executive Champion” by the national autism advocacy organization Autism Speaks.[1][15]

Electoral history[edit]

2018 Michigan gubernatorial Republican primary[edit]

Republican primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Schuette 499,837 50.7
Republican Brian Calley 248,047 25.2
Republican Patrick Colbeck 129,102 13.1
Republican Jim Hines 108,263 11.0
Total votes 985,249 100.0

As Lt. Governor (with Governor)[edit]

Michigan gubernatorial election, 2014[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Rick Snyder (incumbent)
Brian N. Calley (incumbent)
1,607,399 50.92% -7.19%
Democratic Mark Schauer
Lisa Brown
1,479,057 46.86% +6.96%
Libertarian Mary Buzuma
Scott Boman
35,723 1.13% +0.44%
Constitution Mark McFarlin
Richard Mendoza
19,368 0.61% -0.04%
Green Paul Homenuik
Candace R. Caveny
14,934 0.47% -0.17%
Write-ins 50 0.00% 0.00%
Majority 128,342 4.06% -14.15%
Turnout 3,156,531 -2.16%
Republican hold Swing
Michigan Gubernatorial election, 2010[17][18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Rick Snyder
Brian N. Calley
1,874,834 58.11% +15.81%
Democratic Virgil Bernero
Brenda Lawrence
1,287,320 39.90% -16.46%
Libertarian Ken Proctor
Erwin Haas
22,390 0.69% +0.08%
Constitution Stacey Mathia
Chris Levels
20,818 0.65% +0.46%
Green Harley Mikkelson
Lynn Meadows
20,699 0.64% +0.12%

33rd District State Senator Republican Primary[edit]

33rd District State Senator - Republican Primary, 2010[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Brian N. Calley 16,881 56.8
Republican Michael Trebesh 12,848 43.2

As State Representative[edit]

87th District State Representative, 2008[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Brian N. Calley (Incumbent) 29,583 64.1 7.8
Democratic Greg Grieves 14,359 31.1
Constitution Phillip Peter Adams 1,267 2.7
Libertarian Joseph P. Gillotte 975 2.1
87th District State Representative, 2006[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Brian N. Calley 21,527 56.3
Democratic Doug Kalnbach 15,504 40.6
Constitution Walt Herwarth 1,195 3.1
87th District State Representative - Republican Primary, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Brian N. Calley 4,346 43.11
Republican Jim Bailey 1,936 19.20
Republican Susan Vlietstra 1,455 14.43
Republican Brian Reynolds 1,392 13.81
Republican Mark Doster 408 4.05
Republican Tom Lower 406 4.03
Republican Wade Trombley 139 1.38


  1. ^ a b c "Autism Law Summit Highlights Latest Advances in Insurance Reform" (Press release). Autism Speaks. September 10, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Demas, Susan (May 2011). "Brian Calley and the Reinvention of the Role of Lieutenant Governor". Dome Magazine.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Snyder - Meet the Lt. Governor". Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2012-12-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Nancy Hanus (2013-07-05). "We've enhanced our commenting system for the Crain's community - Crain's Detroit Business". Retrieved 2016-10-23.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Judy Emmons replaces Calley as Republican candidate for 33rd district". 2010-09-03. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  8. ^ "2010 Official Michigan Primary Election Results - 33rd District State Senator 4 Year Term (1) Position". Michigan Department of State. October 6, 2010. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  9. ^ "Snyder Says Calley Has Smarts, Hustle, Personality Plus Unselfishness". Michigan Technology News. August 26, 2010. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ John D. Lindley (May–June 2011). "Tax, Tax, Tax". Leader's Edge. Archived from the original on 2014-07-30.
  12. ^ Gray, Kathleen (3 December 2015). "Lt. Gov. Brian Calley Getting MPA from Harvard". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  13. ^ Oosting, Jonathan (May 30, 2017). "Calley Reveals Part-Time Legislature Proposal for 2018". The Detroit News. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  14. ^ Murray, David (19 April 2012). "Lt. Gov. Calley: Merits of autism insurance mandate made sense 'long before it was personal'". MLive. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  15. ^ "Insurance coverage for autism is law". Detroit Free Press. 19 April 2012. Archived from the original on 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  16. ^ "Election Results - General Election". Michigan Department of State. November 24, 2014. Archived from the original on December 16, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  17. ^ "2010 Michigan Official General Candidate Listing". 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ a b c "Ruth Johnson, Secretary of State, Department of State Homepage". Retrieved 2016-10-23.

External links[edit]

Michigan House of Representatives
Preceded by
Gary Newell
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 87th district

Succeeded by
Mike Callton
Political offices
Preceded by
John D. Cherry
Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
Succeeded by
Garlin Gilchrist