5 LGBTQ Michigan State Rep. Candidates to Learn About Before the Primary

As the Aug. 4 primary election draws nearer, many voters have already made their picks by casting their absentee ballots. But for those BTL readers who are going to make their ways to the polls physically, it's helpful to have a sense of the available LGBTQ candidates who are running for the Michigan House of Representatives and background on what issues they are for and against. This is a list of five openly LGBTQ candidates who have competitors in the upcoming primary.


Tim Sneller

Sneller is an incumbent who represents Michigan's 50th district, which contains Burton, Grand Blanc, Grand Blanc Township, and Mundy Township in Genesee County. Sneller says he's focused on expanding LGBTQ rights, helping constituents deal with COVID-19-related impacts and increasing governmental transparency.

"Because, at the end of the day, I was just telling a colleague of mine yesterday, they don't count the dollars you bring, they don't count the number of signs you put up, they don't count the number of lit pieces that you mail out, they count votes," Sneller said. "And you've got to earn those votes."

Read BTL's full candidate coverage piece by clicking here.

Learn more about Tim Sneller online on his website or view his past legislation here.


Cynthia Thornton

Thornton is running for Michigan's State House District 7, which includes the city of Highland Park and part of Detroit. The union steward and president of Pride at Work Michigan prioritizes civil rights enforcement, working to dismantle systemic racism within the criminal justice system, LGBTQ advocacy and continuously fighting for workers' rights.

"On a larger scale, state rep versus union rep, your job is the same: to make sure that the interests of your constituency are being met and that the laws, as they apply to the circumstance, are being fairly applied to your constituents so that they get what they're entitled to," Thornton said.

Read BTL's full candidate coverage piece by clicking here.

Learn more about Thornton on her campaign's Facebook page or at


Brendan Johnson 

Johnson is running for the 45th House District, which is made up of Rochester and Rochester Hills. Besides being an openly LGBTQ candidate, his campaign focuses on the environment, climate change, infrastructure and education.

"After the 2018 election, and watching all of their work, I said I can do the same thing in 2020. That's sort of what prompted me to do this now," Johnson said. "I also think you need more young people at the table. There's something to be said for having young representatives."

Read BTL's full candidate coverage piece by clicking here.

Find out more about Johnson's campaign online at


Greg Reyner

Reyner is running to represent Michigan's 4th House District, which contains part of Detroit and the city of Hamtramck. Education, environmental racism and infrastructure are some of the focuses of this LGBTQ candidate.

"Obviously infrastructure issues," Reyner said. "We have some of the worst roads in the region. They're horrible. School systems — the fact that this is the state that produced Betsy DeVos is questionable. I think we really need to focus on education as a whole in the state; we need to definitely improve how we get from point A to point B."

Read BTL's full candidate coverage piece by clicking here.


Kevin Kresch

Kevin Kresch is running to represent District 27, which includes the cities of Berkley, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge and Royal Oak Township. This lawyer by profession said his focuses would be to expunge the records of those convicted of nonviolent marijuana-related crimes, ending drug industry immunity and repealing the senior retirement tax.

Read BTL's full candidate coverage piece by clicking here.

To find out more about Kevin Kresch, his district and stances visit


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