State Senate District 18
Jeff Irwin is running for the Michigan Senate's District 18 seat. He faces three other candidates in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary: Michelle Deatrick, Matthew Miller and Anuja Rajendra. The position is currently held by Democrat Rebekah Warren, who is term-limited in the senate but running for the District 55 seat in the Michigan House of Representatives.
The winner of this Democratic primary will face Republican Martin Church in the Nov. 6 general election.
Irwin served three two-year terms in the Michigan House of Representatives for District 53, elected in 2010, 2012 and 2014. In Michigan, state legislators are term limited and can only serve three terms in the House and two terms in the Senate.
Irwin had previously served for 11 years representing Ann Arbor on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners in District 8, including a stint as board chair. He was elected to his first term in 1998.
Irwin was born in 1977 and grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. His father, Mitch Irwin, was a state senator from that district. Coming to Ann Arbor in 1995, Jeff Irwin studied political science at the University of Michigan and was active in local and campus government. He was treasurer of LSA Student Government and on the board of the Ann Arbor Tenants’ Union. He also worked on the political campaigns for several local Democrats, including Alma Wheeler Smith, Chris Kolb, Rebekah Warren and Liz Brater.
In 1998 he worked as a Legislative Aide to state Senator Alma Wheeler Smith, and later worked with the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.
In 2017 he served as political director for the Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol, which is advocating for a ballot proposal to legalize marijuana in Michigan.
The Michigan Jaycees named him “Best Young Government Leader of the Year” in 2000, and the Workforce Development Board named him “Best Elected Official” in 2007. He also was a founding member of Partners for Transit, a group that advocates for countywide public transit in Washtenaw County.
Irwin is married to Kathryn Loomis, who is the Michigan Supreme Court's Reporter of Decisions. They have two children, Sylvia and Mackinac, and live on Ann Arbor's east side.
Sarah Schillio is serving as Irwin's campaign treasurer.
Jeff Irwin: In The News
Candidate Profile: Irwin Brings Experience To 18th District Senate Race – We Love Ann Arbor, Feb. 13, 2018
Former Ann Arbor rep launches campaign for Michigan Senate – Michigan Daily, Oct. 22, 2017
Former state Rep. Jeff Irwin announces 2018 state Senate campaign – MLive, Oct. 13, 2017
After Hash Bash, push to legalize marijuana in Michigan in 2018 begins – MLive, April 3, 2017
Irwin at Large: "I've seen it time and time again," says former state rep Jeff Irwin – Ann Arbor Observer, March 2017
Jeff Irwin's tenure as Ann Arbor State Representative comes to an end – WEMU, Dec. 29, 2016
State representatives face challenges in majority-GOP legislature – Michigan Daily, Dec. 10, 2015
Irwin: Decriminalize, regulate marijuana in Michigan (Op-Ed by Jeff Irwin) – Detroit News, June 25, 2015
Bill would opt Michigan out of daylight saving time – MLive, March 12, 2015
Jeff Irwin offers his take on Washtenaw County's prospects with 4 Democrats in the Michigan House – AnnArbor.com, Nov. 16, 2012
Lansing View: Concrete Talk With Jeff Irwin – Ann Arbor Chronicle, March 2, 2011
Jeff Irwin and Ned Staebler battling for chance to represent Ann Arbor in state House – AnnArbor.com, July 23, 2010