Nov 14, 2008
Freshman Livingston County Rep elected to leadership position in GOP House
Even though he has not yet been sworn in, Bill Rogers was elected to a leadership position Thursday in the Republican House Caucus, tapped as the Assistant Minority Floor Leader.
The position does not carry much responsibility when you are in the minority party, but it's unusual that a freshman is elected to a leadership position. However, in the era of term limits three incoming freshman Representatives were chosen for three of the seven leadership positions for the 43 seat GOP caucus. The Democrats won nine seats in the election to increase their advantage to 67-43. The person Rogers replaced, term-limited Chris Ward, was the Floor Leader when Republicans controlled the House, but he was ousted after he voted for the income tax increase last fall to avoid a government shutdown.
I got to know Rogers when I covered the Livingston County Board of Commissioners, and he is a competent, friendly and respectful man. Prior to being elected to the House to represent Livingston County's 66th District, he was the chair of the Board of Commissioners. However, he was clearly bested in the debates during the election.
The election seems somewhat surprising when you consider how much experience fellow freshman Livingston County colleague, Cindy Denby, has after serving as a legislative aide to Rep. Joe Hune, whom she replaces to represent the 47th House District.
Name to lead the GOP caucus Thursday as the House Republican Leader was Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer, R- Bellaire. Elected by his colleagues as the House Minority Floor Leader was Rep. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell; chosen as House Minority Assistant Speaker was Rep. Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive; chosen as Caucus Chair was incoming freshman Eileen Kowall, R-White Lake; and chosen as Assistant Caucus Chair was incoming freshman Larry DeShazor, R-Kalamazoo.
Despite facing a drunk driving charge and being asked to resign by some Republican colleagues, Rep. Kevin Green, R- Wyoming, was elected as Minority Whip.