Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, will be the first women to be the leader of a caucus after the Michigan Democratic Senate Caucus unanimously chose her to be the Senate Minority Leader today.
She was chosen before the Senate session today to replace term-limited Sen. Mike Prusi, D-Ishpeming, and to lead the caucus for the 2011-14 session. According to subscription only Gongwer, Sen. Glenn Anderson, D-Westland, was the only other candidate, but he bowed out of the race to make Whitmer a unanimous choice.
“While there will be a lot of changes in the Capitol, the priorities of the Michigan Senate Democrats will be the same, and we have a lot of talented individuals coming in who will fight harder than ever to see that they are addressed,” Whitmer said. “I am eager to work with anyone who is earnestly ready to roll up their sleeves and make the tough decisions necessary to right Michigan ’s ship for the long-term. I hope the new governor and incoming legislators will bring an open mind and a cooperative style to move us forward, and get past the partisanship, gimmicks and games that have been so problematic these last four years.”
Unfortunately, she will lead a caucus that is the smallest since the 1940s. She has worked hard to get Democrats elected, and I walked this summer and fall on a couple of canvas walks she organized and led.
She has been a thorn in the side of Senate Republicans the last couple of years, using procedural moves to make the caucus more relevant and involved in the process. She will need all that procedural magic with the Democratic disadvantage at 26-12.