Terri Lynn Land

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Terri Lynn Land
MI Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.JPG
41st Secretary of State of Michigan
In office
January 1, 2003 – January 1, 2011
Governor Jennifer Granholm
Preceded by Candice Miller
Succeeded by Ruth Johnson
Personal details
Born (1958-06-30) June 30, 1958 (age 57)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Daniel Hibma
Alma mater Hope College
Religion Reformed Church[1]

Terri Lynn Land (born June 30, 1958) is an American politician who served as Michigan's 41st Secretary of State. In 2012, Land was elected to the Republican National Committee.[2] She was the Republican nominee for the 2014 United States Senate race in Michigan, but lost in the general election to Gary Peters.

Early life and education[edit]

Land was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The granddaughter of immigrants from the Netherlands, Land grew up changing sheets and mowing grass for her grandparents’ family motel business.[3] Land grew up in Grandville, Michigan, graduating from Grandville High School. In 1976, she attended the Republican National Convention, where she shook Gerald Ford's hand.[4] Land was one of the youngest attendees at the 1978 Republican state convention. She worked her way through college as she attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in political science.[5][6] In 2009, Land was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Davenport University, "in recognition of her accomplishments and contributions to the community."[7]

Early political career[edit]

In 1980, at age 22, Land joined the Grandville Planning Commission. At age 23, Land ran for the Michigan House of Representatives, unsuccessfully challenging incumbent Democrat Jelt Sietsema.[4]

From 1992–2000, she was the elected Clerk of Kent County, the fourth largest county of Michigan.[6]

In 2000, with Gov. John Engler’s encouragement, Land ran unsuccessfully for the Michigan State Board of Education.[4][8]

Michigan Secretary of State[edit]

In 2002, Land became Michigan's 41st Secretary of State, defeating Melvin Hollowell, a Detroit-based attorney, 55%-43% and took office on January 1, 2003.[9][10] Land and her husband contributed more than $1.9 million of their own money in the 2002 and 2006 Secretary of State campaigns.[11]

During Land's tenure as Secretary of State, she implemented a plan to expand online service options, improve services at branch offices to create shorter lines for customers, and make use of more reliable election equipment.[12] The Grand Rapids Press editorial board praised Land for her technological transformation of state services.[13][14] According to the Michigan Legislature, Land implemented “other advancements, [which] include the introduction of Self-Service Stations for easy license plate tab renewals and creation of an online Branch Office Locator that provides customers with office locations, hours, and services simply by entering their zip code, city or county".[15] Land championed the effort to implement more reliable voting machines,while also installing magnetic barcode readers in all branch offices to speed up transactions and ensure accuracy.[13][16]

Despite a decreased budget to work with, Land was successful in consolidating offices to make them more efficient, yet all through attrition so that no workers were laid off, Land also carried out the successful consolidation of branch offices in a nonpartisan manner.[13] Terri Lynn Land also refused to take advantage of her name being placed on the signs at branch offices, a political advantage used by previous Secretaries of State, to rather have the Secretary of State’s website address be advertised as online services increased.[13]

Secretary Land led the charge to consolidate Michigan’s elections, which saved money, reduced confusion, and helped eliminate ‘stealth elections’.[17] Staying ahead of the work required by the Help America Vote Act, Land also selected a single style voting machine to be implemented statewide with funding from the federal government.[18] In 2005, Land's office announced an effort to use the Help America Vote Act to reduce potential voter fraud by removing names of voters who had died, moved out of Michigan, or changed their names. A New York Times investigation found that 33,000 people were removed from the rolls, while Land's office said 11,000 voters were removed. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took Michigan to court over the removal of voter names. The New York Times pointed out that “the problems were not unique to Michigan, and that states with Republican and Democratic election officials had struggled to interpret new federal laws, such as the Help America Vote Act.” In October 2008, a federal judge ruled that the national Voting Rights Act had been violated and six states, including Michigan, were ordered to stop removing names from voter rolls. A spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office told the Detroit Free Press that, “If you're eligible to vote, you will be able to cast a vote on Election Day".[19][20][21] Furthermore, Land spearheaded several outreach initiatives that increased voter participation, including touring all university campuses to offer registration opportunities, which caused unprecedented voter turnout rates in 2004, 2006, and 2008.[22]

In 2006, she was elected to a second term, defeating Macomb County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh 56%-42%.[23] After serving two terms, the maximum allowed in the state, she was succeeded by Republican Ruth Johnson.[24]

2014 U.S. Senate election[edit]

On June 3, 2013 Land announced her candidacy for the United States Senate in 2014.[25] She ran unopposed in the primary and faced Democratic congressman Gary Peters in the general election.[26]

According to an early analysis by the Washington Post, the U.S. Senate election in Michigan was considered one of the top 10 Senate races of 2014. Land had a strong fundraising run and outraised her opponent throughout the campaign.[27] Land's largest independent backer was Americans for Prosperity, which had spent $3.6 million in support of her candidacy.[28]

Land was endorsed by the entire Michigan Republican delegation including congresswoman Candice Miller,[29] former congressman Pete Hoekstra,[30] the Family Research Council.[31] and National Right to Life.[32]

In the election of November 4, 2014, Terri Lynn Land was defeated for the Senate seat of retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D) by a margin of 54.6% for Democratic nominee Gary Peters to 41.3% for Land and a combined 4% for other candidates.[33] Her campaign was weighed down by various missteps and her reluctance to make public campaign appearances.[34][35][36]

Personal life[edit]

Land married Dan Hibma in 1983. The Lands live in Byron Center.[11] They have two children: Jessica and Nicholas.

According to financial disclosures, Land and her family have assets worth at least $34 million.[11]

Electoral history[edit]

U. S. Senate Election in Michigan 2014[37]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Gary Peters 1,704,936 54.6 -8.1
Republican Terri Lynn Land 1,290,199 41.3 +7.5
Libertarian Jim Fulner 62,897 2.0 +.4
Green Chris Wahmhoff 26,137 0.9 0
U.S. Taxpayers Richard Matkin 37,529 1.2 +.6
Write-Ins 77 0.0 0
Majority 414,737
Turnout 3,121,775
Democratic hold Swing
Michigan Secretary of State Election 2006[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Terri Lynn Land (incumbent) 2,089,864 56.15
Democratic Carmella Sabaugh 1,561,828 41.96
Michigan Secretary of State Election 2002[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Terri Lynn Land 1,703,261 54.96
Democratic Melvin Hollowell 1,331,441 42.96
Political offices
Preceded by
Candice Miller
Secretary of State of Michigan
Succeeded by
Ruth Johnson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jack Hoogendyk
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Michigan
(Class 2)

Most recent
Preceded by
Holly Hughes
Republican National Committeewoman from Michigan
August 2012 – March 2014
Succeeded by
Ronna McDaniel


  1. ^ "Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land". Michigan State Legislature. They attend Corinth Reformed Church, where Secretary Land was nursery supervisor for many years. 
  2. ^ Spangler, Todd (2014-02-16). "Suddenly, Michigan Republican Terri Lynn Land building steam in Senate race". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Land campaigns in region for Michigan Senate seat". Midland Daily News. January 14, 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Profile: Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is in the driver's seat". MLive. 2009-02-20. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Profile: Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is in the driver's seat". MLive.com. February 20, 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Alumni Profiles". Hope College. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "State of Michigan Election Results.". Secretary of State. November 7, 2000. Retrieved November 20, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Michigan Department of State Election Results". Michigan.gov. December 17, 2002. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "cretary of State 4 Year Term (1) Position". Michigan Department of State. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c Eeggert, David (6 August 2013). "Michigan GOP Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land has deep pockets". The Associated Press. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "No Good Deed Unpunished". Michigan Capitol Confidential. Feb 7, 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Editorial: Examining Terri Lynn Land's Years as Secretary of State". MLive.com. December 2, 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF STATE 2003 – 2010 ACCOMPLISHMENTS" (PDF). www.michigan.gov. 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "SECRETARY OF STATE TERRI LYNN LAND" (PDF). Michigan Legislative Website. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "Michigan Department of State Election Results" (PDF). Michigan.gov. 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "Michigan Department of State 2003-2010 Accomplishments" (PDF). Michigan.gov. 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "SOS- Michigan Elections: A Plan for the 21st Century". Michigan.gov. 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  19. ^ Siddiqui, Sabrina (2014-02-20). "Terri Lynn Land, Michigan GOP Senate Candidate, Violated Federal Voting Law". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  20. ^ Klug, Fritz (2014-02-23). "The Michigan Delegation: US Senate Obamacare attack ad 'doesn't add up'". MLive. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  21. ^ Hackney, Suzette (2008-10-10). "Michigan Secretary of State denies voters off rolls illegally". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  22. ^ "Good Government Through Customer Service". Michigan.gov. December 15, 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  23. ^ "Secretary of State 4 Year Term (1) Position". Michigan Department of State. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c "Secretary of State 4 Year Term (1) Position". MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF STATE. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  25. ^ Blake, Aaro (June 3, 2013). "Terri Lynn Land running for Michigan Senate seat". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  26. ^ Heinlein, Gary (Aug 4, 2014). "Primary likely final decision for most Legislature, Congress races in Mich.". Detroit News. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  27. ^ Sullivan, Sean (Nov 8, 2013). "The Fix’s top 10 Senate races of 2014". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  28. ^ "Gary Peters again criticizes Terri Land on auto bailout". Associated Press. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  29. ^ Cahn, Emily (Aug 20, 2013). "GOP Congresswoman Endorses in Michigan Senate Race". Roll Call. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  30. ^ McMillin, Zane (Aug 21, 2013). "Pete Hoekstra, trounced in 2012 Senate race, endorses Terri Lynn Land's bid". MLive. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  31. ^ "FRC Action PAC Endorses Terri Lynn Land for US Senate". www.frcaction.org. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  32. ^ http://www.lifenews.com/2014/09/04/terri-lynn-land-gets-pro-life-endorsement-to-face-pro-abortion-gary-peters-in-michigan/
  33. ^ New York Times, Nov. 5, 2014, pg. 1
  34. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/meet-gop-senate-candidate-republicans-love-hate/story?id=26224000
  35. ^ http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20141109/NEWS/311099976/republicans-campaign-stumbles-helped-sink-land-amid-gop-wave
  36. ^ http://www.dailytribune.com/opinion/20141108/selweski-land-weaves-a-cautionary-tale-for-future-politics
  37. ^ "2014 Official Michigan General Election Results - United States Senator". December 18, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 

External links[edit]