Rick Snyder was born in Battle Creek, Mich., and currently lives near Ann Arbor. He received a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a law degree from the University of Michigan.
He went to work for the Coopers & Lybrand accounting firm (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) after earning his law degree, moving up to partner and working in Detroit and Chicago.
He left in 1991 to join fledgling Gateway Inc., where he served as executive vice president before being named president and COO in 1996. He left in 1997 and invested some of his Gateway wealth into two venture capital firms. He spent seven months at Gateway as interim CEO in 2006.
He was elected governor in 2010.
Snyder and his wife, Sue, have a son and two daughters.
Rick Snyder took advantage of Republican control of the Legislature to push through far-reaching budgetary reforms during his first term. He plans to seek re-election in 2014.
Snyder used his personal wealth during his successful 2010 gubernatorial campaign to put up more ads than any other candidate, promoting his image as "one tough nerd."
During the 2010 five-way GOP primary, Snyder didn't court tea partiers and routinely skipped GOP debates, preferring to talk to voters in more-controlled town hall meetings. He appealed to moderates and Democrats to vote for him in the closing weeks of the campaign and he won the nomination in August 2010 when his four opponents split the conservative vote.
Snyder was shunned by Right to Life of Michigan because of his support for looser restrictions on embryonic stem cell research and because he would allow abortions in cases of rape, incest and to save the mother's life. He chose a 33-year-old conservative state representative, Brian Calley, as his running mate to mend fences with conservatives and give him some legislative knowledge.
Snyder made a point of saying he's "not a career politician" and accepted no political action committee money. He spent $7.6 million on his primary election race, with $6.1 million of that coming from his own pocket. He was helped in the general election by TV ads sponsored by the Republican Governors Association.
Snyder estimated that companies he has invested in through his venture capital firms had added more than 400 Michigan jobs and 1,200 nationally. But he had to defend himself against criticism that Gateway eventually dropped most of the 9,000 U.S. jobs added while Snyder was in management when it moved much of its manufacturing operations to other countries.
Snyder was still on Gateway's board when the change occurred, but said he wasn't involved in those decisions.
American Conservative Union Rating: Not rated
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: Not rated
Rick Snyder won his August 2014 primary, he will face Mark Schauer in November.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on August 6, 2014.)