“I am running for the Senate to create an environment for job growth, to reform government to work for taxpayers, and transform our education and workforce systems so every child and individual has the opportunity to succeed," Garcia said. "My most important job will be to represent the residents of Ottawa County and to get results for them in Lansing."
Garcia is seeking the Republican nomination to fill the 30th District seat currently held by Sen. Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, who is term limited and cannot run for re-election next year.
Garcia’s state House 90th District includes the cities of Holland, Hudsonville and Zeeland; and the townships of Holland, Jamestown and Zeeland.
Garcia said she looks forward to getting to know the residents living in northern Ottawa County.
"I was born in Holland and raised in Ottawa County, where I learned conservative values, an unwavering work ethic and commitment to community,” she said. “Like so many others of my generation, I had to leave Michigan to find work elsewhere during Michigan's lost decade. I was determined and fortunate to return home to apply my education and health care experience to help shape Michigan's comeback."
As a state representative from Ottawa County, Garcia noted that she’s been a leader in economic development and education to provide opportunities for the next generation. She created and saw through the state law to create a Smart Zone in Ottawa County, which supports entrepreneurs in their start-up businesses to expand Michigan's economic base, and she’s worked to create education and workforce policies that emphasize accountability and career pathways.
"Michigan has made great progress, but much remains to be done to sustain our recovery,” she said. “As state senator, my priorities will include working to address talent attraction issues facing employers, transforming our education system, protecting our children and seniors, addressing the rising costs of health care, and maintaining the values and standard of living we are accustomed to in Ottawa County.”
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Garcia has a master's degree in education policy and administration from Catholic University. Prior to serving in the Michigan House, she was an education and health care advisor to former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, and she worked for Spectrum Health.
The primary election is August 2018.
Garcia’s only challenger so far for the Republican nomination is Joe Haveman, who announced his candidacy at the end of August. Haveman is a former Holland city councilman and state representative.