State Sen. Patrick Colbeck of Canton Township is running for Michigan governor in 2018.
Colbeck, a conservative who has clashed with Gov. Rick Snyder on Medicaid expansion and higher fuel taxes, announced Thursday that he has filed paperwork to seek the governorship.
The 51-year-old aerospace engineer, who first won election in 2010 during the tea party wave, is the second Republican to actively campaign for the job, though more are expected to jump in. Until now, Saginaw doctor Jim Hines has been the only Republican to be actively campaigning.
Snyder cannot run again due to term limits.
"Michigan deserves principled solutions that prioritize the best interests of all of our citizens, not an influential few," Colbeck said in an email to supporters. "I have spent my career engineering innovative solutions that satisfy the best interests of my customers. It is about time that elected officials remember that our customers are all of our citizens not simply the ones who contributed the most to our campaigns. The government works for the people, not the other way around."
Colbeck has been an outspoken critic of expanding government-provided health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, hiking gasoline taxes and vehicle registration fees to better fund roads, and implementing Common Core education standards.
Most recently, his bill to create an anti-abortion "Choose Life" fundraising license plate has gained traction in the Legislature.
Colbeck joins a growing list of people who have announced they are running for the state's top office. Notable bids include Gretchen Whitmer, Abdul El-Sayed and Shri Thanedar. Also expected to run are Attorney General Bill Schuette, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and perhaps Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.
Colbeck was first elected to the Senate in the 2010 tea party wave. He said in a statement that "it is about time that elected officials remember that our customers are all of our citizens, not simply the ones who contributed the most to our campaigns."
The lawmaker is also an aerospace engineer who has worked on systems for the International Space Station and owned a small business.
- Crain's Detroit Business contributed to this report.