Richard Dale "Rick" Snyder (born August 19, 1958) is an American politician, business executive, venture capitalist, and accountant. He is the 48th and current Governor of Michigan. A member of the Republican Party, he assumed office as governor on January 1, 2011. From 2005 to 2007, Snyder served as the chairman of the board of Gateway, Inc., based in Irvine, California. Prior to his election as governor, he was chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Ardesta LLC, a venture capital firm based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Snyder was considered as a possible Republican Party candidate for Vice President of the United States in 2012, although ultimately Paul Ryan was selected. On February 3, 2014, Snyder announced his candidacy for re-election as Governor of Michigan in 2014. He was elected to a second term in the November 2014 vote, defeating his major challenger, Democrat Mark Schauer.