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MLC Capitol Spotlight: An Interview with Representative Tim Sneller

Mar 30, 2017

Representative Tim Sneller (D-Burton) was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016.  He represents the 50th House District located in Genesee County, which includes Burton, Grand Blanc, Grand Blanc Township, and Mundy Township.

Prior to being elected to the House, Representative Sneller worked as a legislative aide for several legislators over the past thirty years.  Prior to working in the legislature, he worked at the Flint General Motors Truck and Assembly Plant.  Representative Sneller earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a secondary teaching certification from the University of Michigan-Flint.

1.    What attracted you to running for the Legislature?
After over 30 years of being a legislative assistant, and because of the impact of term limits, I felt it was important to have someone in office that is prepared and has the experience and institutional knowledge needed to be a strong and effective leader.

2.    When did you first realize you wanted to be a Democrat?  
I first realized I wanted to be a Democrat in my early years growing up. I was born and raised in Flint in a strong union family where they generally voted Democrat.

a.    What attributes of your party do you most identify with?
I most identify with making sure we have a strong vibrant middle class, safety nets for our elderly and vulnerable citizens, and a diverse group of people that is representative of our entire population.

3.    What individuals from your community have shaped and prepared you to be a legislator?
My first legislative employers, former Senator Bob Emerson and former Lt. Gov. John D. Cherry, Jr. helped shape and prepare me to serve as a legislator, as did former Representative Lee Gonzales, who has a strong work ethic. UAW Leaders Stan Marshal and Ron Perkins also helped prepare me by pushing me to do my best and reassuring me that I would be effective at helping people.

4.    What issues would you like to advocate for because of a personal life experience?
I would like to advocate for more education opportunities to make education more affordable. I worked and paid my way through school by working in the shop and for then-Senator John Cherry.  I know first-hand how hard it is to balance life commitments, work and school.

5.    Not having previously served as a public official, what are the greatest expectations you hope to achieve and what situations/scenarios do you hope to avoid?  
What I hope to achieve is making my community and state a better place to live, work, grow and raise family, then when I was growing up. What I hope to avoid is making promises that are unrealistic.

6.    How has your previous career, political or private sector, shaped the legislator you will be?
I have taken full advantage of my legislative career and it has given me a broad perspective on many important topics. Not only do we need to pay attention to the day-to-day issues residents face, but we need to balance it with the bigger picture that the state and communities face and will continue to face for years to come.

7.    What one thing would you like to highlight that makes your district special?
It is very diverse, offering the opportunity to work with people from many different industries including agriculture, manufacturing, education, small business, and local government.

8.    What are some of your favorite activities to participate in on your free time?
Going to the theater, being out in the community and helping to promote it, meeting new people, going to farmer’s markets, attending cultural events such as those at the Flint Institute of Music and Flint Institute of Arts, and meeting friends for dinner.

Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.