Nov 6, 2008

House Democrats choose leaders

LANSING - - Rep. Kathy Angerer, D-Dundee, was chosen as the Majority Floor Leader Thursday for the 2009-10 legislative session that begins in January as current, term-limited and Democratic Representatives-Elect gathered in caucus to choose their leaders.

Angerer will replace term-limited Rep. Steve Tobocman, D-Detroit. The Democrats retained House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Twp, as Speaker of the House. Rep. Pam Brynes, D-Chelsea, was chosen as speaker pro tempore. The votes cast for all three positions were unanimous.

Both Angerer and Brynes - in their third and final terms - took the next step up the ladder. Angerer was the Assistant Floor Leader and Byrnes was the associate speaker pro tempore. Byrnes will be in the chair during floor sessions, and Anger will set the agenda from the floor.

Angerer unseated an incumbent Republican when she won her first term in 2004. Republicans, who controlled the House, were so incensed that she wore a target on her back for two years, and Republicans refused to let her even get the simplest of resolutions passed. The same Republican she beat spent the next two years in the district campaigning and raising money.

In the meantime in Lansing, Angerer proved to be a tireless worker, and her constituent operation was the best in Lansing. She earned the respect of colleagues, opponents, staff on both sides of the aisle and House employees down to the janitorial staff. In the 2006 rematch Anger won by an even larger margin than in 2004, and she was named the chair of the important Health Policy Committee when Democrats took control of the House.

With their seats safe this year, Angerer and Byrnes helped other Democratic House candidate’s campaigns and the Democrats picked up nine seats to give them 67 seats.

The caucus did not elect a caucus chair and assistant positions. Republicans also did not choose its leaders, and they are expected to do that next Wednesday when the Lame Duck session resumes.

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