Six months from now, don’t expect to see state Rep. Mark Meadows, D-East Lansing, behind a desk working on any governmental business — he’ll be too busy trekking from Georgia to Pennsylvania.
“I’m going back to what was plan A (before the campaign): hiking the Appalachian Trail,” Meadows said.
Meadows, a third-term state representative who will leave the House for good at the end of the year, had planned to hike the trail for several years and had hashed out a tentative schedule, until he decided to throw his hat in the ring to become a judge in East Lansing’s 54B District Court earlier this year.
But an unexpected upset in the race by East Lansing attorney Andrea Larkin thwarted his plans, and now, for the first time since being elected to the East Lansing City Council in 1995, Meadows has no long-term plans.
Meadows previously said he had plans to run for state Senate.
Now, he’s not so sure.
“I’m going to take one day at a time and see how it goes,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll disappear.”
Last week, the election results came as a surprise to many who expected Meadows, a well-known name in East Lansing, to pull out a win.
In the end, it wasn’t even close — Larkin ran him over with a 56 to 43 percent win.
“It’s really surreal to think that I’ve accomplished that goal with an opponent who is so well-liked and well-respected in this community,” Larkin said after she found out she won.
Meadows, who has been involved in local politics for more than 20 years, served as the East Lansing mayor from 1997-2005 before becoming the state representative for the 69th district.
“I think at the time I decided to run for office I felt that I could reflect the people in the neighborhoods more, in terms of the decisions that were being made, (and) the close relationship with campus and students on campus,” Meadows said.
ASMSU Vice Chair for Governmental Affairs Dylan Miller said ASMSU – MSU’s undergraduate student government — has worked with Meadows in the past, particularly on an early version of the medical amnesty law signed this year that protects intoxicated minors who seek medical attention.
But Meadows’ attempt at passing medical amnesty failed, and when ASMSU sought to pass the bill again, the group decided to enlist the help of Republicans, Miller said.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed the medical amnesty bill, sponsored by Rep. Anthony Forlini, R-Harrison Township, this summer.
Meadows said people already have contacted him asking if he is interested in serving on any city commissions in the future, but right now, his only plans are breaking out his hiking boots.
“I’ll take a look at that at the right time,” he said. “But at this point of time in November, the game plan is about the same.”