Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rick Outman. I’m running for re-election to the State Senate in our area. As you’ve likely heard, redistricting has significantly changed all of the boundaries for the State House and State Senate Districts this year. As a result, while I am currently a member of the Senate, I have not had the opportunity to represent you in that legislative body yet. The new 33rd State Senate District includes the following areas: all of Montcalm and Newaygo Counties, as well as parts of Kent, Ionia, Lake, Muskegon, and Ottawa Counties.
I’d like to tell you a little about my background and why I am running. I live on the same family farm where I grew up in Montcalm County. I graduated from Lakeview Community Schools and then joined the U.S. Army. After completing my enlistment, along with an active-duty deployment to Beirut, I joined the 1073rd National Guard Unit based in Greenville, MI. Upon returning home, I took classes at Grand Valley State University while helping my father and brothers run our family’s excavating business in my spare time. I eventually completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a Minor in Spanish, and a teaching degree. However, while I was in college my brother Buck was killed in a tragic excavating accident. This accident necessitated my joining the family business fulltime, so I was never able to realize my dream of making a career out of teaching.
After eventually taking over the excavating business from my father, I felt called back to public service during the turmoil our country, and our area in particular, faced during great the recession that started around 2008. I didn’t win the primary during my first campaign, but in 2010 I ran again and unseated an incumbent democrat to win election to the State House. I served the maximum 3 terms and then left office. In 2018, I had the opportunity to run for the State Senate and was overwhelming elected that year.
During my time in office, I have learned a great deal about politics and how Lansing operates. More importantly, I’ve learned a lot about the people and places I was elected to represent. As you can imagine, I had much to learn coming from humble beginnings with no political background. Throughout this process, I have never forgotten where I come from or the people I represent. I am proud of the fact I come home to our family farm every night after legislative session. There is nothing I love more than being a part of the community I call home. I am allowed to serve one final term in the Senate under our term limits law. I’d like to serve that final term because I still have more to give to our community and I believe I’ve never been in a better position to make a difference than I am right now.