Betsy's Background:

  • Betsy is a Grand Traverse County Commissioner in her second term, having flipped her seat in 2018 from a multi term Republican incumbent. With that win she became the first Democratic woman elected to the Grand Traverse County Commission in over 3 decades.  She then won again in 2020 by an even higher margin, earning nearly 58% of the vote. 

  • Betsy grew up in a working class in rural Kalkaska County, and has deep roots in northern Michigan.

  • She began her professional career at age 19 as a newspaper reporter in northwest lower Michigan, and served for 6 years in her early 20's as a weekly newspaper editor and reporter, winning multiple Michigan Press Association awards every year of her tenure.

  • She left journalism to go back to school, working 3 jobs to put herself through college including several years as a Traverse City Area Public School classroom employee and special education assistant. She earned her associate’s degree from Northwestern Michigan College and her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Ferris State University.

  • Betsy’s professional experience includes service as a Head Start social worker (BSW) serving dozens of working class families and 5 partner childcare centers both home and center based, in Leelanau, Benzie and Grand Traverse Counties 

  • Betsy joined We the People Michigan during 2019 and currently serves as a lead organizer and rural political strategist

  • In a 2016 bid for a Republican stronghold state house seat, Betsy outperformed presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 percentage points as a down ballot state house candidate. 

  • Over the last decade, Betsy has recruited and mentored multiple women who have run for office, several of whom have won, as well as mentored multiple Millennial and Gen-Z women now in political leadership positions.