Rebekah Warren

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Rebekah Warren
Member of the Michigan Senate
from the 18th district
Assumed office
January 1, 2011
Preceded by Liz Brater
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 53rd district
In office
January 1, 2007 – December 31, 2010
Preceded by Chris Kolb
Succeeded by Jeff Irwin
Personal details
Born (1971-11-25) November 25, 1971 (age 46)
Owosso, Michigan
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Conan Smith
Alma mater University of Michigan

Rebekah Lynn Warren (born November 25, 1971) is an American Democratic politician from Ann Arbor, Michigan, representing the 18th District of the Michigan Senate since January 1, 2011.[1] She was elected to this position on November 2, 2010, beating Republican opponent John Hochstetler, 65.5% to 34.5%.[2] Previously, she served two terms as State Representative for Michigan's 53rd District, from 2007 to 2010.


Warren was raised in Owosso, Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan, majoring in political science. In 1993 she joined the staff of State Representative Mary Schroer of Ann Arbor, Michigan and later that of State Representative Hubert Price of Pontiac, Michigan. From 1999 to 2006 she was the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Michigan, the state affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

House of Representatives[edit]

Rebekah Warren waves to crowd in 2011 Ypsilanti Independence Day Parade

She was elected to a two-year term in the Michigan House of Representatives in 2006 and was subsequently reelected in 2008. Warren chaired the House Great Lakes and Environment Committee since and sat on the Judiciary Committee, the Tax Policy Committee, and the Oversight and Investigations Committee. She also co-chaired the Michigan BioTech Caucus with Republican Senator Randy Richardville.

Political views[edit]

Warren is a progressive Democrat, subscribing to tenets of social equity, environmental conservation and liberal fiscal policies.

Women's rights[edit]

Warren is an ardent supporter of gender equity and has championed abortion rights. In 2005 she was recognized for her leadership by the National Women's Political Caucus of Michigan with their annual Millie Award. NOW of Michigan named her "Legislator of the Year" in 2009.

She has sponsored or cosponsored legislation to prevent pay discrimination, provide emergency contraception, extend family medical leave to adopting parents, and provide support and protections for sexual assault survivors.[3]

Environmental protection[edit]

Environmental issues topped Warren's agenda in the state legislature in 2007-2008[citation needed]. She championed the passage of the Great Lakes Compact and associated legislation to govern withdrawals of the state's groundwater. The Center for Michigan touted the package as "the most important accomplishment to come out of the Michigan legislature this year."[4]


Warren and mother-in-law Alma Wheeler Smith introduced legislation in 2009 to provide free college tuition for Michigan residents [5] by raising the state income tax.

2010 State Senate race[edit]

In 2010, Warren competed with fellow Democrat Pam Byrnes for the Democratic nomination for the 18th Michigan Senate seat to succeed Liz Brater. Five days before the primary election, an article in a Michigan newspaper revealed that ads for Byrnes and attacking Warren were financed by The Great Lakes Education Project, a Political Action Committee (PAC) funded in part by Republicans Dick and Betsy DeVos. The Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) lobbies for choice, accountability and quality in education and assists candidates that support education reform.[6] Warren defeated Byrnes in the primary election with 55.7% of the vote.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Warren is married to Washtenaw County Commissioner Conan Smith [8] and is the daughter-in-law of Alma Wheeler Smith.[9]


Position Election Year Votes Opponent's
State Representative 2010 60,333 31,771 John Hochstetler[10]
State Senate 2014 61,421 23,745 Terry Linden[10]


  1. ^ "State Senator Rebekah Warren". Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-06. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  3. ^ "Michigan Legislature - Search Bills by Sponsor". Retrieved 2018-01-25. 
  4. ^ Philip Power, "Huge Breakthrough in Lansing" Center for Michigan, 27 Jun 2008.
  5. ^ Tim Martin, "Plan would boost income tax to pay Mich. tuition" Chicago Tribune, 31 Mar. 2009.
  6. ^ Posted on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 12:29 p.m. (2010-07-27). "Stanton, Ryan J. "Group questions why right-wing Republican group is behind ads supporting Democrat Pam Byrnes" '''' July 27, 2010". Retrieved 2018-01-25. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2012-07-28. 
  8. ^ "Conan Smith drops out of running for county job amid messy controversy". Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  9. ^ Judy McGovern, "08 election another milestone for political family," Ann Arbor News, 08 Nov. 2008.
  10. ^ a b "Michigan State Senate District 18". Ballotpedia. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Michigan State House of Representatives
Preceded by
Chris Kolb (D)
Michigan House, 53rd District
Succeeded by
Jeff Irwin (D)
Michigan Senate
Preceded by
Elizabeth S. Brater (D)
Michigan Senate, 18th District
Succeeded by