Michigan Governor Whitmer sworn in for second term as Democrats regain control

Michigan Governor Whitmer sworn in for second term as Democrats regain control
Michigan Governor Whitmer sworn in for second term as Democrats regain control

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was sworn in for a second term as the state’s 49th governor on Sunday, pushing a message of unity and working together during remarks on the steps of the Capitol of the state as the Democrats took full control of the state. government for the first time in 40 years.

Whitmer, who was first elected in 2018 after serving as state deputy for 14 years, won re-election in November beating Republican Tudor Dixon by nearly 11 percentage points. Joining him on Sunday were other top Democratic leaders, including newly reelected Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II.

During her inaugural address, Whitmer pledged to pursue “common sense” gun reform, continue investing in K-12 education, improve workers’ rights, reduce state retiree taxes and to address climate change, adding that she would provide more details in her upcoming State of the State address.

“Over the next four years, our task is to ensure that every Michigander, present and future, can succeed,” Whitmer told the nearly 1,000 people in attendance. “And our message is simple: We are warning the world that your future is here in Michigan.”

With a newly powerful Democratic caucus, Whitmer faces the test of delivering on years of promises in a swinging state where Democrats must appeal to more than their base or risk losing their majority when the legislature is up for grabs again two years from now. .

Whitmer recognized several Republican legislative leaders and promised throughout his speech to work across the aisle and with “anyone who wants to solve problems and get things done.”

Senator Aric Nesbitt, the new Republican leader in the state Senate, congratulated Whitmer after the inauguration and said in a statement that he hoped she “actually delivers on her repeated promises of bipartisanship.”

The groundbreaking ceremony comes days after two men were sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms after leading a plot to kidnap Whitmer in 2020 ahead of the presidential election. Whitmer has previously accused Republican leaders of fueling violent rhetoric and shedding light on the plot to kidnap and assassinate her.

READ MORE: Co-leader of Whitmer kidnapping plot sentenced to 19 years in prison

Michigan Democrats officially took control of the State House and the Senate at noon on Sunday after winning narrow majorities and flipping both chambers in November’s election.

Newly selected Democratic leaders in the Legislature, Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks and House Speaker Joe Tate, joined the governor in stressing the importance of bipartisanship during their speeches.

“We have an incredible opportunity to work together like never before in legislative chambers and alongside the executive,” said Brinks, who was chosen as the first female Senate Majority Leader in December.

The new legislative session is due to begin on the second Wednesday in January. The state budget will be among the priorities lawmakers will tackle as they carry a nearly $6 billion surplus into the new year.

History was also made in the state Supreme Court on Sunday when Kyra Harris Bolden was sworn in as the first black woman to sit on the High Court after Whitmer nominated the former state representative in November to replace retired judge Bridget McCormack. Bolden also administered Whitmer’s oath of office.

Joey Cappelletti is a member of The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on underreported issues.

. governor michigan whitmer sworn for second term so democrats regain control

. Michigan Governor Whitmer sworn term Democrats regain control

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