While most of the attention that Albion students receive comes from their Facebook accounts, Jeff Snyder, Ann Arbor senior, has a little more to think about. Rick Snyder, Jeff’s father, formally announced his campaign to run for Michigan’s governorship in July, and the family has been on the political trail ever since.
The Pleiad sat down with Jeff to find out a little more about what it’s like to be the son of a candidate for governor.
Q: How involved have you been in the campaign process?
A: I haven’t officially volunteered for his campaign or anything. I’ve gotten my friends involved a bunch though, and (my friends and I) have just been spreading the word, whether it’s bumper stickers, telling friends about the campaign, or even having some of my friends volunteer for the campaign itself.
When my dad formally announced that he was running, we went on a tour of Michigan and went all over the state – up to the U.P. and everything. He just gave speeches about his message and what he wanted to do. My family and I went with him, meeting and talking to people.
Q: Has your dad asked you to make changes to your lifestyle since his campaign launch?
A: I just have to be more aware of what I’m doing on an everyday basis. He let me know that I’m representing him and my family and to always be aware of that. Basically, I can’t portray a negative image or do really dumb things.
Q: Do people often recognize you or your name?
A: It’s come up more in the last few months, and I think it’s going to come up more with the commercials that just came out – they premiered during the Super Bowl. I got a bunch of text messages from people who saw it, and I get messages a lot of from people who see him at different events – he’s gone to colleges around the state and spoken.
Q: What’s been the coolest thing about having your dad run for governor?
A: Probably having strangers recognize him and my family, or seeing things online about how people think that he can change the state or make a big difference, especially since things in Michigan are so bad right now. It’s weird to hear them talking about my dad being able to fix all of that.
Seeing the commercial during the Super Bowl was really cool. My mom was in it for a second at the end, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t opposed to being in it if they needed me, but I think my younger sisters wanted to be in it more than I did.
It’s kind of wild when people come up and ask me about my dad running. Especially since I don’t know about all his views and stuff, sometimes people who are really into politics will grill me about obscure issues, and I’m just like, “Go to the Web site.” And I want to get the word out, but it’s a weird topic to bring up, especially since a lot of people aren’t paying attention to the race for governor yet. But I think things will get crazier with more media coverage and as the election date gets closer.
Q: What’s the weirdest or worst thing about his running?
A: For as many good things that are online, there are just as many bad. It’s part of politics, but it’s still hard to see – especially when it’s your dad. When I’ve seen him for all my life and seen him do incredible things, hearing strangers say that he can’t is weird. And it’s especially hard sometimes since my mom and sisters get sensitive about it. I try to remember that it’s just all a part of politics.
Q: Are you planning on getting more involved with the campaign?
A: Since I don’t really have a plan after graduation yet, I’ll probably work on it during the summer. Just wherever they need me.
Q: Are you going to vote for your dad?
A: Yeah – I think he’s got my vote.
For more information on Rick Snyder’s political views and campaign, visit rickformichigan.com.