Patrick Miles Jr.

Patrick A. Miles Jr. (born October 19, 1967) is a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.[1] He was nominated by President Obama on March 29, 2012 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 29, 2012.[2] Miles is the first person of color to hold the position of U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, which covers 49 Michigan counties including the state's entire Upper Peninsula.[1]

Patrick A. Miles Jr.
U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan
In office
July 9, 2012  January 20, 2017
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byDonald A. Davis
Succeeded byAndrew B. Birge
Personal details
Born (1967-10-19) October 19, 1967
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materAquinas College
Harvard Law School

He was the Democratic nominee for Michigan's 3rd Congressional District in the 2010 congressional election.[3][4]

Background and education

Miles is a third generation resident of southeast Grand Rapids. He is the son of Patrick A. Miles Sr., a retired Steelcase Senior Buyer, former Chairman of the Grand Rapids Urban League Board of Directors and former Chairman of the Grand Rapids Planning Commission, and Shirley Cross Miles, who retired after teaching early elementary students in the Grand Rapids Public Schools for 30 years.[5]

His mother is a descendant of freed slave Thomas W. Cross, was reared on a family farm in Blanchard, Michigan and is related to Dr. Merze Tate, the first African American woman to attend the University of Oxford and to earn a Ph.D. in government and international relations from Radcliffe College. His sister, Angela Miles, is a television anchor/reporter based in Chicago, Illinois. Miles' paternal grandfather worked in Grand Rapids for General Motors as a machinist.[6]

Miles attended Grand Rapids public schools and graduated from Ottawa Hills High School at the age of 16.[7] Miles spent his freshman year of college at Great Lakes Christian College (then Great Lakes Bible College) in Lansing, Michigan,[8] before graduating from Aquinas College in 1988 with a degree in business administration and economics.[9] He worked in an office furniture factory as a spot-welder all four summers during college.

Miles graduated from Harvard Law School at age 23 and was a member of its Class of 1991 along with Barack Obama, Julius Genachowski, and Kenneth Mehlman.[10] While at Harvard, he became editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Record, the first African American to do so.[8][11]

Professional career

After Harvard, Miles returned home to Grand Rapids in 1991 and joined Varnum Riddering Schmidt & Howlett, a 150-attorney law firm, as an associate.[12] He specialized in business law and cable/telecommunications law. Miles made partner in 1997 at the age of 29—the first person of color to become a partner in the firm's 110-year history and the first African American male to become a partner at a Grand Rapids law firm with more than 10 attorneys.[8][13]

Miles served an elected term on the Varnum management/policy committee from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2004. In 2006 he joined the national law firm of Dickinson Wright as a partner based in Grand Rapids.[9]

In 2002, he was elected to serve as President of the Grand Rapids Bar Association from 2004-05. Miles has served on dozens of community boards and committees. He served on the Aquinas College Board of Trustees from 1993-2012 and was its Chairman from 2004–08, guiding the Board through a presidential search process and governance reorganization. He serves on the DeVos Children's Hospital Foundation Board, and is its former vice chair.[8]

In the late 1990s, he chaired the Inner-City Christian Federation Board of Directors, a faith-based non-profit which builds and creates affordable housing ownership opportunities. He was Secretary and Treasurer of Hope Network, Treasurer of Spectrum Health Hospitals, and was on the Greater Grand Rapids Area YMCA Board of Directors and is its former Treasurer.[8] In July 2011 he was elected to serve as the first president of the newly formed Grand Rapids Black Chamber of Commerce—the first to be locally chartered by the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce.[14]

The Grand Rapids Business Journal named Miles to its 40 under 40 business leaders list in October 1998, December 2002, and November 2007.[15] Business Direct Weekly named him to its 40 business leaders under 40 in March 2004.[16] In 1999, the Grand Rapids Press named Pat Miles one of 10 corporate leaders to watch in the new millennium.[13]

On July 9, 2012, Miles began serving as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Michigan.[17]


Miles announced on March 18, 2010 that he was running for Congress to represent Michigan's Third Congressional District—an area Gerald Ford represented for 24 years and which had not elected a Democrat to Congress since 1974.[18][19][20] He won the August 3rd Democratic primary against former Kent County Commissioner Paul Mayhue by a 2-1 margin.[3]

Miles ran on a campaign theme of "working together to get results" and received some national attention.[21][22] He offered specific policy proposals to help small and emerging business job creation, improve education, make college affordable, and reduce the federal budget deficit. He proposed a five percent pay cut for members of Congress each year the federal budget is not balanced.[23]

Miles' campaign attracted attention from local and statewide media for endorsements from more than 100 self-proclaimed Republicans, including three former Kent County Republican Party Chairs; Heidi Ehlers Rienstra and Marla Ehlers, daughters of retiring Congressman Vern Ehlers (R-MI3); Karen Henry Stokes, widow of Republican Congressman Paul B. Henry, as well as several former Michigan Republican state representatives.[24][25][26][27]

In the November 2, 2010 general election, Miles was defeated by Republican Justin Amash.[28]

On December 1, 2010, Miles returned to practice law at Dickinson Wright in Grand Rapids until he took office as the Grand Rapids-based U.S. Attorney.

Run for Attorney General

On September 28, 2017, Miles announced he was seeking the Democratic nomination for Michigan Attorney General.[29] On April 15, 2018, Miles was unable to secure the Democratic nomination for this office, losing to Dana Nessel.[30]


  1. "Pat Miles, President Barack Obama's U.S. Attorney choice, takes oath of office in Grand Rapids". 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  2. "Non-Existent Domain". Archived from the original on 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  3. Harger, Jim. "Patrick Miles Jr. wins Democratic primary, says moderate message can win in November", The Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids, 4 August 2010. Retrieved on 2010-11-18.
  4. Singiser, Steve, Daily Kos.Primary Day Preview, August 1, 2010.
  5. Roelofs, Ted."Profile: Third Congressional District Candidate Pat Miles", Grand Rapids Press, October 17, 2010.
  6. "Old Settlers". Archived from the original on 2003-12-12. Retrieved 2017-07-26.
  7. Grand Rapids Press, January 26, 2003, p. J4
  8. Roelofs, Ted. "Profile: 3rd Congressional District candidate Pat Miles", The Grand Rapids Press, October 17, 2010.
  9. "Patrick A. Miles Jr. Appointed United States Attorney for the Western District of Michigan". United States Department of Justice. July 9, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
  10. Scott, Monica. "3rd Congressional District candidate Pat Miles Jr. gets 'a few minutes' with President Obama in Kalamazoo", The Grand Rapids Press, June 8, 2010; retrieved November 10, 2010.
  11. Ted Roelofs. "Obama speech on pastor and race gets mixed reviews in West Michigan". Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  12. Grand Rapids Press, January 26, 2003, pg. J4.
  13. Grand Rapids Press, November 7, 1999.
  14. Jarema, Morgan (August 31, 2011). "Grand Rapids Black Chamber of Commerce Makes Its Debut". Grand Rapids Press.
  15. Grand Rapids Business Journal, October 26, 1998, December 9, 2002, and November 5, 2007.
  16. Business Direct Weekly, Vol. 9, Issue 10, March 4–10, 2004.
  17. Reens, Nate. "Pat Miles, President Barack Obama's U.S. Attorney choice, takes oath of office in Grand Rapids". Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  18. Scott, Monica. "Grand Rapids lawyer Patrick Miles Jr. will seek Vern Ehlers' Congressional seat", The Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids, March 18, 2010; retrieved November 18, 2010.
  19. Benenson, Bob, "Two Longshots: Smart Guys, Tough Odds", CQ-Roll Call, April 18, 2010.
  20. "Six House Races to Watch", Detroit News, July 30, 2010.
  21. "Pat Miles For Congress". Archived from the original on 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2017-07-26.
  22. Brayton, Ed. "Four Michigan Congressional Races Make CNN's Top 100" Archived 2010-12-04 at the Wayback Machine, Michigan Messenger, August 30, 2010.
  23. "Endorsements", Grand Rapids Press, July 11, 2010.
  24. Spangler, Todd. "Grand Rapids Democrat Pat Miles gains more Republican support", Detroit Free Press, October 19, 2010; retrieved November 18, 2010.
  25. Harger, Jim. "Longtime GOP backers favor Democratic candidate Patrick Miles Jr. over Republican Justin Amash in race for 3rd District House seat", The Grand Rapids Press, September 20, 2010; retrieved 2010-11-18.
  26. Karen Bouffard & Paul Egan, "GOP Activists Back Dem", Detroit News, September 20, 2010.
  27. Harger, Jim. "Karen Henry Stokes Endorses Democrat Patrick Miles Jr. For Her Late Husband's Seat", Grand Rapids Press, October 6, 2010.
  28. "House Map - Election Results 2010". February 8, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  29. "MICHIGAN NEWS: Ex-US Attorney Miles Running for Michigan Attorney General". September 28, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Donald A. Davis
U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan
Succeeded by
Andrew B. Birge
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