Michelle McManus (Michigan politician)

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Michelle A. McManus
Member of the Michigan Senate
from the 35th district
In office
January 1, 2003 – December 31, 2010
Preceded by Bill Schuette
Succeeded by Darwin L. Booher
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 104th district
In office
January 1, 1993 – December 31, 1998
Preceded by Thomas G. Power
Succeeded by Jason Allen
Personal details
Born (1966-10-05) October 5, 1966 (age 50)
Traverse City, Michigan
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Keith Nelson
Religion Roman Catholic

Michelle A. McManus (born October 5, 1966) is a Republican politician from the U.S. state of Michigan. She was a member of the Michigan Senate from 2003 through 2010, representing the 35th District, and was assistant majority leader during her second term, 2007 to 2010.[1]

Elected office[edit]

From 1993 to 1999, she was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from the 104th District.[1]

McManus unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1998 against then-Democratic incumbent Bart Stupak in Michigan's First Congressional District receiving only 40% of the vote.[2] She served as the director of Governor John Engler's Northern Michigan Office between 1999 and 2002.[3][4]

In the 2002 general election McManus was elected to the Michigan Senate from the 35th Senate District.[4] The district covered eleven counties, including Benzie, Clare, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mecosta, Missaukee, Osceola, Roscommon and Wexford.[5] Her uncle, George A. McManus, Jr., had previously held the Senate seat for the 35th District.[citation needed]

In 2003 as a State Senator, McManus introduced Senate Bill Nos. 395,[6] which would have made partial birth abortion illegal in the State of Michigan.[1] The bill passed both houses and was enrolled as the "Legal Birth Definition Act".[7] After the bill was vetoed by Governor Jennifer Granholm,[8] Republicans decided to use the initiative petition system provided by the constitution,[9] rather than attempt to override the governor's veto in the legislature.[8] McManus joined with the Right to Life of Michigan, collected almost half-a-million signatures,[1][8] and the new "Legal Birth Definition Act" was again passed by a majority of both houses, and became law in June 2004.[8][10] However, it was subsequently found to be unconstitutional.[8][10]

As a member in the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen Caucus, she sponsored bills that created an apprentice hunting programs.[1] She also was involved in a legislative attempt to ban internet hunting,[1] which is a remote controlled version of hunting in which a person controls a gun over the internet with their mouse.[11]

McManus was elected to a second term in 2007,[4] but left the Senate in 2010 due to term limits[12] and was succeeded in the Michigan Senate by Darwin Booher. In 2010 McManus sought the Republican nomination for secretary of state, but lost at the Republican Convention to Ruth Johnson, the Oakland County Clerk.[12]

Personal life[edit]

She has lived for her entire life in Northern Michigan and attended Traverse City public schools. In 1989, she graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science.[3]

She lives with her husband, Keith Nelson, and their daughter and son in Lake Leelanau.[1]


As a former member of both houses of the Michigan Legislature, McManus is entitled to the courtesy title of The Honorable (abbreviated to Hon. or Hon'ble) for life.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Biography: Senator Michelle McManus". Michigan Senate Republicans. Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Gizzi, John (9 April 2010). "Stupak Out, GOP Likely to Pick Up Seat". Human Events. Archived from the original on 4 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "State Senator Michelle McManus, Michigan Manual 2003, page 144" (PDF). Michigan Legislative Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c McCool, Craig (11 August 2006). "McManus Wins a Second Term". Traverse City Record-Eagle. [dead link]
  5. ^ Hoogterp, Edward (2006). West Michigan Almanac. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. p. 467. ISBN 978-0-472-03125-2. 
  6. ^ Senator McManus was lead legislator on the bill, which was introduced by her and nineteen other senators. "Senate Bill 395" (PDF). Michigan Legislative Council. 23 April 2003. 
  7. ^ "Enrolled Senate Bill No. 395" (PDF). Michigan Legislative Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 December 2005. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Sander, Libby (5 June 2007). "Federal Appeals Court Rejects Michigan's Ban on a Controversial Method of Abortion". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 4 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Michigan Constitution (1963), article 2, § 9
  10. ^ a b "Legal Birth Definition Act, Act 135 of 2004" (PDF). Michigan Legislative Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Internet Hunting". The Humane Society of the United States. 
  12. ^ a b "McManus fails to win nomination, vows support for GOP candidates". Leelanau Enterprise. 2010. Archived from the original on 4 July 2014. 

External links[edit]