Dem’s Drop-In with Barbara Byrum, Ingham County Clerk
May 27, 2017
“You need to run for office or get appointed, especially if you are a woman. It doesn’t matter what office, committee or commission, just do it”. That was one inspirational piece of advice from Barbara “Barb” Byrum, Ingham County Clerk and former Michigan State Representative. Barb spoke at the GT Democrats Drop-In on May 26 at MI Grill in Traverse City. She was also in town for another race as a runner in the Bayshore Marathon. It seems running for herself and running for a cause “is in my blood”.
Full of energy and stories ranging from Michigan politics to family history, Barb kept her audience laughing and listening. Most of her youth was spend in Onondaga, MI. Her mother, Diane Byrum, House minority leader, was “redistricted” while in office forcing the family to move to a neighboring town for the next election. Happy that her mom won again but not about that move as a teenager, Barb now has a strong position on district gerrymandering. She encouraged the group to get involved and help put a new policy on the ballot.
A Michigan State graduate, Barb worked in the Ag business, then bought a hardware store, then went back to school for her law degree. She spent some time as a prosecutor and a few years in family law. Barb believes that all of these endeavors “prepared me for my first Michigan representative race against my former middle school principal”. Term limited out after six years, Barb wasn’t done with politics or serving her community. She ran for Ingham County clerk and that’s the position she holds today. Asked if she would consider a run for the Michigan Senate in the future, Barb smiled and said, “Hmmm, not now, but who knows about the future”.