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Birthdate: Nov. 24, 1963
Birth Place: Kansas City, MO, United States
Residence: Douglas, MI
Mike O'Brien was born in Kansas City, Mo., and grew up in St. Louis. He currently resides in Douglas, Mich. He received a bachelor's degree in business and French from Washington University.
O'Brien was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps from 1984 to 1988, attaining the rank of platoon sergeant and serving in Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Korea. He received the Navy Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service.
In 1999, O'Brien moved to Michigan, where he created and ran the real estate arm of a trucking company, USF Holland. O'Brien also started a family farm, which he had from 2003 to 2009.
He worked for a wind energy company in 2009 and 2010 and served on Gov. Jennifer Granholm's offshore wind council before taking a job in new product development at furniture company Herman Miller.
O'Brien and his wife, Teresa, have a daughter.
Mike O'Brien, in his first run for political office, is challenging 13-term incumbent Republican Rep. Fred Upton in southwestern Michigan's 6th Congressional District.
"I'm passionate about my country and care deeply about the affairs of this country and feel very much that we are not being served by our Congress, both across the country and the state and specifically in my district," O'Brien said, when asked why he decided to run.
O'Brien launched his campaign in April 2012 and ran unopposed in the August Democratic primary.
A decorated member of the U.S. Marine Corps early in his adult life, O'Brien later focused on a business career.
He worked with a wind energy company in 2009 and 2010 and also served on Gov. Jennifer Granholm's offshore wind council before taking a job in new product development at furniture company Herman Miller.
O'Brien said his experiences in recent years spurred his desire to run for Congress and fight for high-quality jobs for the residents of the 6th Congressional District.
He believes that to boost the economy and grow jobs, the government should be "realigning corporate taxes to return jobs to the U.S." He believes that new jobs should be created in the renewable energy industry.
O'Brien said beating an established incumbent such as Upton would not be easy, but he was counting on a potentially strong showing by President Barack Obama in Michigan to help the cause.
"I believe that with great blessings come great obligations," O'Brien said. "I will fight for practical solutions that help everyday citizens and Michigan businesses thrive."
Source: Associated Press
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