LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — While Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, is gearing up for her transition to the state's top position, newly elected Republican legislators have chosen their leadership teams.
Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and Speaker of the House Tom Leonard are both leaving their respective chambers and leadership roles as of Dec. 31.
Sen. Mike Shirkey, from south central Michigan, will take over as the majority leader.
House Republicans picked Rep. Lee Chatfield as the new speaker. Chatfield is from the 107th District, which includes the easternmost part of the Upper Peninsula, as well as Emmet County and part of Cheboygan County in the northern Lower Peninsula.
"We've come a long way in the last eight years. Our state has improved dramatically and I think it's important that we all continue that trend," Chatfield said. "I look forward to working with the Democrat minority leader. I look forward to working with Sen. Shirkey and (Democratic) Sen. (Jim) Ananich and I look forward to working with Gov.-elect Whitmer. Fact is that every single one of us were elected to improve our state, to make sure we're moving in the right direction and we're going to be working, as House Republicans, with anyone and everyone that has that same objective."
How well the newly elected governor and legislators led by the opposition party will work together will largely dictate what legislation is dealt with when Lansing gets down to business in January.