An 8th generation Northern Michigan resident who is fighting for you.
FAITH, FAMILY AND SERVICE
As a lifelong Northern Michigan resident and active member of his community, Lee Chatfield knows exactly what issues people care about, and he has the energy and courage to fight for those shared values.
Chatfield, of Levering, is currently serving his fifth year in the Michigan House of Representatives and proudly represents the people of Cheboygan, Chippewa, Emmet and Mackinac counties.
The same work ethic he learned from his parents, Betty and Rusty Chatfield, and as an athlete and coach, also helped him become one of the youngest ever Speakers in Michigan history. Serving in this leadership position allows him to make an even greater impact for Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
Faith has always been an important part of Lee Chatfield’s life. Lee's father has been a minister in Pellston and Burt Lake for more than 30 years, and Lee graduated high school from Northern Michigan Christian Academy. Sports also has played a big role in his life. While earning a bachelor’s degree at Northland International University, Lee was named a 1st Team Adidas All-American for soccer and continues to use his collegiate experience as a player to impact the next generation through coaching and mentoring. After graduating from Northland, Rep. Chatfield earned a master’s degree in public policy from Liberty University.
Before his election to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2014, Lee served as a full-time high school teacher, coach and athletic director at his alma mater, Northern Michigan Christian Academy. Lee married his high school sweetheart, Stephanie, and they have four sons and one daughter. When Lee first decided to run for the state House, he wanted to make sure he ran a campaign that was focused on the issues and told people the truth. Local residents responded to his common-sense message and results-driven public service, and he was re-elected to the state Legislature in 2016 and 2018 with 67 percent and 58 percent of the vote respectively.
A LEADER WHO LISTENS
Rep. Chatfield is leading the effort to make government more accountable by opening public access to records of the governor and Legislature. The plan requires the governor to adhere to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws and creates a new act to place state lawmakers under public disclosure laws. “We claim to have government of the people, by the people and for the people, and it’s about time that we make government more transparent and accountable to the people,” Chatfield said. “Transparency is about people and I don’t believe people can have faith in their government if it fails to set an example for honesty and openness.”
He also helped sponsor a bill to repeal Common Core because he believes standards should be controlled by parents and local school districts, not by bureaucrats in Lansing or Washington D.C. "A one-size-fits-all educational scheme is not best for students or parents," he said. "What works downstate may not work in Northern Michigan. We need to allow for more local control and empower our teachers in the classroom.”
Rep. Chatfield also worked to eliminate Michigan’s misguided and ineffective driver responsibility fees. The fees were imposed by politicians years ago to help fill a hole they created in the state budget. Chatfield said it is well past time to end this mistake and help people get back to work. "The legislation will have an immediate, and life-changing, effect on so many families in Northern Michigan,” Chatfield said. “Not only will this lift the burden of paying these senseless fees that were conceived by a past administration looking for a quick fix to their overspending, it will also enable people to regain driving privileges and improve their quality of life.”
Lee also has earned a reputation as an outspoken leader in the fight to protect taxpayers. He pushed for and passed a measure to prohibit local governments from assessing a tax on the manufacturing and sale of groceries and beverages. This would help families struggling to make ends meet and continue to put food on the table without added strain to their pocketbooks. “There are people living paycheck to paycheck and already have serious economic challenges," he said. "For a local government to add a tax on a basic staple such as food would force struggling families and seniors living on fixed incomes to choose between a nutritious meal or some other necessity.” Chatfield is also leading the fight to lower Michigan’s income tax rate to help families and workers keep more of their paycheck.
In addition, Lee has followed through on a commitment to remain accessible to residents during monthly public office hours. He and his staff have held over 58 consecutive monthly office hours throughout the district and he encourages everyone to attend to share opinions and make their voices heard.