State Senate District 18

Jeff Irwin

Jeff Irwin

Jeff Irwin is running for the Michigan Senate's District 18 seat. He faces Republican Martin Church and Thomas Repasky of the Working Class Party in the Nov. 6 general election.

In the Aug. 7 Democratic primary, Irwin defeated three other candidates – Michelle DeatrickMatthew Miller and Anuja Rajendra – winning by a margin of 239 votes out of 73,340 votes cast in the district. 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.

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. 

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Jeff Irwin:  In The News

League of Women Voters Candidate Forum (video)Community Television Network, Sept. 27, 2018

Jeff Irwin Looks Ahead After Nail-Biting Win In The 18th District State Senate Primary RaceWEMU, Aug. 8, 2018

Irwin ekes out narrow win in Michigan Senate race in Ann ArborMLive, Aug. 8, 2018

Nearly $570K pumped into Michigan Senate race in Ann ArborMLive, July 31, 2018

Soapbox Summer 2018WEMU, July 13, 2018

Who will be the Ann Arbor area's next state senator?MLive, July 10, 2018

League of Women Voters Candidate Forum (video)Community Television Network, July 9, 2018

Michigan's marijuana debate deepens with legalization on ballotToledo Blade, June 15, 2018

Candidate Profile: Irwin Brings Experience To 18th District Senate RaceWe Love Ann Arbor, Feb. 13, 2018

Former Ann Arbor rep launches campaign for Michigan SenateMichigan Daily, Oct. 22, 2017

Former state Rep. Jeff Irwin announces 2018 state Senate campaignMLive, Oct. 13, 2017

After Hash Bash, push to legalize marijuana in Michigan in 2018 beginsMLive, April 3, 2017

Irwin at Large: "I've seen it time and time again," says former state rep Jeff IrwinAnn Arbor Observer, March 2017

Jeff Irwin's tenure as Ann Arbor State Representative comes to an endWEMU, Dec. 29, 2016

State representatives face challenges in majority-GOP legislatureMichigan 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 timeMLive, March 12, 2015

Jeff Irwin offers his take on Washtenaw County's prospects with 4 Democrats in the Michigan, Nov. 16, 2012

Lansing View: Concrete Talk With Jeff IrwinAnn Arbor Chronicle, March 2, 2011

Jeff Irwin and Ned Staebler battling for chance to represent Ann Arbor in state, July 23, 2010