Meet the Candidates: Brad Hantler, 21, is Making His Mark

During the countdown to the Aug. 7 primary, Patch is bringing you profiles of the candidates running for local office.

The Aug. 7 primary election is drawing closer every day, but how much do you really know about the names on the ballot?

Patch is interviewing candidates running in the Aug. 7 primary, including candidates for the 39th District's seat in the Michigan House of Representatives.

The seat is currently filled by Rep. Lisa Brown, who will not run, instead  currently occupied by Bill Bullard Jr.

Running for the spot on the Republican ticket are Albert Clawson, of Commerce, Bubba Urdan, of West Bloomfield, Nicholas Kennedy, of Wixom, Kristine Zrinyi, of Commerce, and Klint Kesto, of Commerce.

Brad Hantler

Age: 21

Family: "My parents, Steve and Saree Hantler, have remained in Oakland County almost their entire life, barring a short stint in Atlanta, Georgia," Hantler said. "This is something I hope to achieve in Michigan for the rest of my life."

Education: Hantler recently graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Oberlin College (OH), where he played baseball and served as chair of a Republicans group.


As an undergraduate student, Hantler worked on the 2010 campaign of Attorney General Mike Cox. He later worked in Cox's office. Otherwise, Hantler has worked various positions in services, public affairs, and sports training. 

Residence: "Oakland County Resident my whole life," Hantler said.

Other activities or endorsements: Hantler has been a lifelong congregant at Adat Shalom Synagogue.

Organizational endorsements:

  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  • Small Business Association of Michigan
  • Michigan Retailers Association
  • American Seniors Association
  • Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners
  • Great Lakes Education Project

Individual endorsements:

  • Herman Cain
  • Former Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox
  • Oakland County Commissioner Shelley Taub
  • Rocky Raczkowski
  • ALS of Michigan President Sue Kahn
  • Former Executive Director of the Christian Coalition Ralph Reed
  • State Representative Kurt Heise
  • Republican Youth Chair Sarah Ledford
  • Chairman of the Michigan Federation of College Republicans Jeff Pfeifer
  • Chairman of the Oakland County 400-Club Frank Mamet

Why are you running for Representative? 

Hantler is inspired by the "exodus" of young people leaving Michigan to help reduce government dependence, add jobs, and modernize education. "It will be my  No. 1 priority to create a competitive climate for growth and opportunity right here in Southeast Michigan," he said.

What are new ideas you would bring to the position/district? 

Hantler's op-ed on the subject of reducing time for state representives originally appeared in the The Oakland Press in June and was picked up by the popular conservative website, Real Clear Politics policy page. From there, it led to former presidential candidate Herman Cain's endorsement.

"It is important to remember that most of America’s state legislatures are designed as part-time jobs with part-time pay and part-time expectations," Hantler wrote.

"There is zero evidence that these supposedly full-time lawmakers serve our state any better than those in the clearly part-time states."

What do you think are the biggest issues facing the county? How would you handle them? 

Hantler focuses on reducing the amount that public school employees cost taxpayers in the wake of Gov. Rick Snyder's budget, which Hantler supports.

"State spending is tied to government employees, and their unions, and saying 'too much' to those constituencies is something today’s class of politician often can’t do," Hantler said.

"The cost that school districts pay for health insurance, pensions and non-teaching services is also out of line with the private sector."

Read more

Who else is running? Meet the candidates for the Michigan House of Representatives Patch has interviewed so far:

Timothy Rath (Editor) August 03, 2012 at 02:10 PM
A comment was removed for a violation of the Patch Terms of Use.
Karen M Faett August 04, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Of all the candidates running for this seat, Brad Hantler is the only one who has courageously expressed ideas how to revitalize MI. From his controversial op ed piece regarding making MI legislature part time, which drew praise on a national level, to his constructive tax reform ideas, it is clear Brad has something to offer the 39th District. Don't let his age fool you, it's his ideas that count and they are greatly needed in the House!


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