South Haven resident Annie Brown has announced her candidacy for a seat on the Michigan House of Representatives.

“I am a common sense Democrat who believes in building bridges and working with everyone on the political spectrum to get work done, solve problems and make life better for families and businesses in our beautiful corner of Michigan,” Brown told The Herald-Palladium on Tuesday.

She said she formally announced her candidacy at a Benton Harbor City Commission meeting Monday.

As a former business owner, educator and school board member, Brown will run for the state’s new House District 38 which hugs about 75 miles of the Lake Michigan Shoreline from the Indiana state line through Berrien County to north of Douglas in Allegan County.

The new district created as part of Michigan’s Citizens Redistricting Commission’s plan for voting districts also includes part of Van Buren County. The plan was adopted last week.

State Rep. Mary Whiteford, R-Casco Township, lives in the new District 38 but cannot run for reelection because of term limits.

“I’m running for state representative because small businesses, small towns and farmers need a fighter in Lansing who will make sure their voices are heard,” said Brown, 60. “I’ll be a strong advocate for clean drinking water, better jobs and better wages.”

Brown and her husband, Jeff Filbrandt, raised three children in South Haven and owned Filbrandt Family Funeral Home for 20 years before selling it to Starks Family Funeral Homes.

Brown taught preschool and served on the South Haven Board of Education for 13 years.

“I grew up in a small town in northern Michigan,” she said. “My first job was cleaning Lois’s Beauty Salon. My parents taught me at an early age that any job worth doing is a job worth doing well. I’ve worked hard all my life and I’ll keep working hard for families of the Lakeshore District when I’m in Lansing.”

Most recently Brown worked for three years as the West Michigan regional coordinator for U.S. Sen. Gary Peters. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Senior Services of Van Buren County and United Christian Services of Van Buren County.

Contact: jswidwa@TheHP.com, 932-0359, Twitter @HPSwidwa