Greek-American Lynn Afendoulis Running for Congress in Michigan
Greek-American Lynn Afendoulis is a candidate for what promises to be one of the most contested Congressional seats in the nation: Michigan’s Third District.
She announced on July 15 that she raised nearly $400,000 in the second quarter of 2020. To date, she has raised more than $850,000 from over 16,300 total donations, with an average donation of $36, a campaign news release noted, adding that no other candidate running to replace Justin Amash has anywhere near the type of grassroots support that Afendoulis has built over the past year.
“As the granddaughter of hard-working immigrants, I am truly humbled by the people who have contributed $5, $10, or $25 to our campaign over the past year. Every day I go to work to campaign for them; they are the people who motivate me - the people who deserve to be heard and represented by an engaged congresswoman. We deserve better than Justin Amash and I look forward to giving West Michigan the conservative voice it deserves in Congress,” said Afendoulis.
Amash left the Republican Party last year and currently is running as an independent (although he has not ruled out running for president as a Libertarian).
“West Michigan is the land of Gerald Ford and thoughtful conservative leaders who were statesmen and who knew how to make a positive difference for their district and the country. I intend to be a legislator who follows in those footsteps,” Afendoulis said. “I will protect conservative values that safeguard and strengthen our rights, our families and our freedoms.”
Afendoulis is a first-term Michigan state legislator who is the first freshman to chair the state’s Committee on Tax Policy and has spearheaded large-scale tax fairness issues in the legislature. She has a record of standing firm on conservative principles and working across the aisle to get things done.
All her grandparents immigrated to America. Her maternal grandmother was from the Peloponnese village of Achladokombos and her maternal grandfather from Halkidiki. Her paternal grandparents were from the Pontian village of Ordu and suffered in the exodus from Turkey, losing three children to the violence.
“I believe in the America that was the beacon of hope for my grandparents: a place of refuge for those who need it and of opportunity for all; a place where self-determination and the dignity of individual accomplishment were paramount,” Afendoulis said. “I intend to use the values they and my parents instilled in me, along with hard work and an ethos of philotimo to win my election and to represent the people of Michigan with integrity.”
Afendoulis faces her stiffest competition from the young son of a billionaire who “will outspend me but won’t out-work or out-smart me,” she said.
“I am honored and humbled to be in the race, and at the prospect of being a Greek-American in the United States Congress,” Afendoulis added.
Afendoulis began her career as a newspaper reporter and, in the late 1980s, worked for The Tampa (FL) Tribune where she reported on Tarpon Springs. She then went into business and for 26 years worked for the Universal Forest Products, Inc. (now UFP Industries). Afendoulis was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she lives with her two young-adult children. She is a member and past parish council member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids.