Birthdate: Dec. 1, 1958
Birth Place: Pontiac, MI, United States
Residence: Bloomfield Township, MI
First Elected: 2008
District: District 14
Gary Peters was born in Pontiac, Mich., and now lives in Bloomfield Township. He earned a bachelor's degree from Alma College in 1980, a master's degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy in 1984, a law degree from Wayne State University in 1989 and a master's degree from Michigan State University in 2007.
Peters served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1993 to 2005. He worked for Merrill Lynch and UBS PaineWebber for more than 20 years.
Peters served on the Rochester Hills City Council in the early 1990s and was a state senator from 1995 to 2002. He was appointed in 2003 by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to head the state lottery, serving for four years.
He was elected to the U.S. House in 2008.
Peters and his wife, Colleen, have three children.
Gary Peters was thrown into a new congressional district following redistricting for the 2012 election. He won the August 2012 Democratic primary in Michigan's 14th Congressional District against fellow Democratic Rep. Hansen Clarke. Since his 2008 election he has represented the suburban Detroit-based 9th Congressional District.
The 14th Congressional District is about evenly split between Detroit and the suburbs. Peters has a strong base in Oakland County but is new to Detroit voters. Nonetheless, many black Detroit pastors, unions and community leaders endorsed him over Clarke, a fellow Detroiter.
Peters supports the 2010 health care reform bill. He applauded the June 2012 decision by the Supreme Court upholding the legislation. "In this landmark decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed what I have been saying for years, everybody in this country has the right to quality affordable health care," he said.
Peters supported the government bailouts for General Motors and Chrysler.
In 2011, he bucked President Barack Obama by opposing a trade deal with South Korea. Peters, whose district includes GM's Orion plant, said the president had helped make the deal fairer to U.S. carmakers, but said he believed it would cost jobs in Michigan.
He believes improving public transportation, especially federal aid, is an important "moral issue" after riding Detroit buses and talking to people who spend hours traveling to work and school.
Peters was among 11 Democratic congressmen who asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2012 to investigate if Border Patrol agents are violating civil rights, undermining immigrant communities and adversely affecting public safety along the country's northern border.
Peters serves on the House Financial Services and Small Business committees.
In 2008, Peters ousted longtime incumbent Republican Rep. Joe Knollenberg and set about working on an economic agenda outlined during his campaign.
He sponsored an expansion of government-led research into making cars and trucks more fuel-efficient _ a measure that easily passed the House in October 2009.
"There is no doubt that in the years ahead more Americans will be driving hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles, and cars and trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells," he said. "The only question is whether these new technologies will be researched, developed and manufactured here in the United States, creating American jobs, or whether this technology will be built overseas."
Peters has pushed for tax cuts for small businesses and convened a meeting of a Financial Services subcommittee in his home county so his constituents could hear from small business leaders and advocates about lack of access to financing. He said he was making it a priority of his to help small businesses secure loans at reasonable terms.
Peters championed animal rights during his first term, introducing a bill designed to crack down on so-called crush videos that depict graphic violence against animals. The videos appeal to a certain sexual fetish by showing women crushing to death small animals with their bare feet or high-heeled shoes.
Peters' legislation stated that the act of crushing animals would be illegal if done specifically to create the videos.
Source: Associated Press