Political Insider: Trump endorses Michigan state Senate hopeful

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

In his first Michigan endorsement for the 2022 elections, former President Donald Trump has expressed his support for Republican state Senate candidate Jonathan Lindsey. 

Lindsey, a special forces veteran living in Brooklyn, is running in what is now considered the 16th Senate District. The district's makeup could change ahead of the 2022 election during Michigan's redistricting process. 

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, represents the district but is term-limited and cannot seek re-election. 

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, early Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Trump, who has clashed with Shirkey over the Senate's investigation of the 2022 election, boosted Lindsey on Friday as a Yale graduate, "warrior"  and son-in-law to Art Laffer, former chief economist for President Ronald Reagan. 

"As a Special Forces Veteran, Jonathan totally supports our Military, Veterans, and Law Enforcement," Trump said in a Friday statement. "He is tough on Election Integrity, Crime, Pro-Life, and will always protect our Second Amendment. We need a warrior like Jonathan Lindsey to uphold our America First agenda." 

After leaving the U.S. Army Special Forces in 2016, Lindsey worked for Philip Morris International "to advance tobacco harm reduction, with a focus on helping the Veteran community," according to his campaign website.

He is married to Allison Laffer Lindsey. They have two children.

State budget director resigns

Michigan's budget director is leaving after eight months in state government to work for Wayne State University. 

Budget Director Dave Massaron started with the Whitmer administration in January after serving as Detroit's chief financial officer. He'll transition to a new role as budget director for Wayne State University after finishing the fiscal year 2022 budget, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday. 

Dave Massaron

A search is underway for a new budget director. An announcement is expected in the next few weeks.

Massaron's Friday announcement comes as the Democratic governor and GOP-led Legislature have yet to agree on a budget for the 2022 fiscal year. The budget, which will include billions of dollars in federal COVID relief money, must be completed by Sept. 30. 

Massaron took over for former budget director Chris Kolb, who left for an administrative position at the University of Michigan.