Wife, Mother, Committed Conservative, and lifelong Kent County Resident
My name is Jennifer Merchant, and I am running for the 3rd Kent County Commission District, which includes Cedar Springs, a portion of Nelson Township, and all of Vergennes, Grattan, Oakfield, Spencer, and Solon Townships. I am a proud lifelong resident of Kent County. I was born and raised in Vergennes Township and am a proud graduate of Lowell Senior High School. I went on the earn a degree in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy from Michigan State University. Rusty and I are raising our family on the same property where I grew up.
I am a mom to an almost four year old son and a bonus mom to three. As soon as I could walk and say the word "horse", I started riding and showing horses. My family helped cultivate my love for the outdoors, and I am an avid hunter and fisherwoman. In high school, my father and I started the Schoolastic Clay Target Program and thus began my love for shooting sporting clays.
My professional and personal background drive my love for public policy, which I believe makes me the best candidate to serve as your County Commissioner. For over 10 years, I have worked in the Michigan Legislature working on behalf of Kent County and Michigan residents. I've had the honor to work in various leadership roles alongside former State Representative Lisa Posthumus Lyons, former House Majority Floor Leader Aric Nesbitt, Former Senate Majority Leaders Arlan Meekhof and Mike Shirkey, and current Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth. My work in the Michigan Legislature allowed me to work on a number of key issues, important to Kent County, as well as gain valuable, hands-on knowledge of the state budgeting process.
Additionally, I had the privilege of working for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development where worked with our agricultural commodity groups and farmers on policy issues. Currently, I work for the Michigan House Republicans serving as the Deputy Director for the House Republican Policy Office handling health policy issues and the Department of Health and Human Services budget. Working on health policy issues over the last 2.5 years gave me a front-row view of how the pandemic and our government has affected our families, lives, and businesses.
I am running for County Commission because I envision a government whose priority is to serve its citizens- no exceptions, no excuses. Imagine a government where we educate instead of mandate. Where fiscal responsibility and public safety aren't buzzwords but the driving force behind all decisions. You have my personal commitment to uphold these values, and to serve you and your best interests every day. You can learn more about the issues that are important to me on the other pages on this site. I look forward to meeting you at the doors over the coming months, and I hope to earn the honor of serving as your County Commissioner.