EXCLUSIVE – Michael Markey announced his campaign to become the Republican nominee for Michigan's 3rd Congressional District.
The announcement makes him the immediate frontrunner to take on Rep. Hillary Scholten, who narrowly won the seat in 2022.
The 3rd District is seen as a key pickup for Republicans to maintain their majority in the House of Representatives.
"It is with great humility and excitement that I announce my campaign for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District," Markey said in a statement exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital. "As a businessman, husband and father, I am concerned about the path our country is taking. We need a disruptor who will stand up to the Washington status quo that has gotten us into this mess. It is time for bold ideas to address inflation, usher in an era of energy independence, and disrupt the traditional ways of doing things in Washington."
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"I am humbled by the support my campaign is already receiving, and I look forward to campaigning against Congresswoman Scholten and her radical agenda that threatens our Michigan way of life," the Grand Haven businessman added.
According to his campaign, Markey is a lifelong Michigander and entrepreneur. He started his first business – a claw machine at a local restaurant – when he was just 14 years old.
On the heels of the 2009 financial crisis, he launched a successful investment firm, his campaign says. Markey's "days as an entrepreneur taught him how to disrupt the status quo with a result-driven mentality. Michael and his wife Vanessa have three children, who Mike says challenge and delight them daily."
Markey previously ran among a crowded pool of GOP candidates gunning to oust Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Last summer, however, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled he and four other GOP candidates should not be included on the 2022 ballot after failing to turn in enough valid signatures to qualify for the August primary.
Conservative Tudor Dixon won the GOP nomination but ultimately failed to defeat Whitmer in the general election.
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In March of this year, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced that it will target 37 Democratic seats in 2024 in a bid to expand the House majority. Michigan's 3rd District was included on that list, and Markey is the first to tap in on that GOP offensive line.
Scholten, a former social worker and immigration attorney, defeated Trump-backed political newcomer John Gibbs in November, making her the first woman to represent Grand Rapids in the U.S. House and the first Democrat from the area since 1977, according to the Michigan Advance. Gibbs made waves for his comments attacking women's suffrage after winning the GOP primary against former Rep. Peter Meijer, who supported former President Donald Trump's impeachment following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
In a profile published in the Michigan Advance Sunday, Scholten spoke of a "strong sisterhood in Congress" amid the growing number of women representatives.
Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., the chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, described Scholten as a "real standout in this freshman class" who is leading the charge on key issues such as gun reform and combating child labor. For the Democratic Women’s Caucus, Frankel said the "abortion issue is at the top of the list" of priorities.
"She’s moved up pretty quickly in her short term," Frankel said of Scholten, who was named a ranking member to the Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure within the U.S. House Committee on Small Business and vice ranking member on the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on the Coast Guard. "She’s got an energy, and it’s like, ‘I’m a mom, and I’m here to fight for the families of this country.’"
In her first legislation introduced to Congress, Scholten and Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., co-sponsored a bill last week that would significantly increase civil monetary penalties for those who violate child labor laws. The bills come after a recent New York Times piece revealed how migrant children "work brutal jobs across the U.S."