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Gretchen Whitmer becomes Michigan’s 49th governor

LANSING, Mich. — With temperatures around 30 degrees in Lansing, Gretchen Whitmer took the oath of office as Michigan’s 49th governor shortly after 11:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

The theme of the inauguration ceremony was “Building Bridges Together.”

The 47-year-old Democrat and Michigan State University graduate said in her opening remarks outside the State Capitol that she hopes to unthaw some of the political divisiveness that has hampered problem-solving in recent years.

“I will be a governor for everyone,” Whitmer declared.

Also sworn into office during Tuesday’s inauguration were Attorney General Dana Nessel, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, as well as those who won court and state education seats.

History was made as Attorney General Dana Nessel became the first openly gay elected statewide official in Michigan and Garlin Gilchrist became Michigan’s first African-American lieutenant governor.

Among those seated with Whitmer were her husband, Dr. Marc Mallory and various family members, former Michigan governors Rick Snyder, Jennifer Granholm and James Blanchard, as well as current Michigan U.S. senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters and former U.S. Senator Carl Levin.

The ceremony included a Capitol flyover of two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters stationed out of Grand Ledge.

“I know you’re awake now,” quipped Whitmer moments afterward in her first remarks.

Though it’s the first time in about 30 years that Democrats have held the four major administrative offices, Whitmer takes the governor’s office with a Republican-led State Legislature. She signaled throughout the morning that this will be her administration’s biggest hurdle.

“We owe it to the people we serve to cast partisanship aside, to roll up our sleeves and to build bridges together,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer referred to Michigan’s prime accomplishment under bipartisan rule: the building of the Mackinac Bridge.

“It was not possible, they thought. Others thought that politicians would not be able to put their differences aside and get it done,” Whitmer said. “They even mocked it, calling it ‘Soapy’s Folly’. But leaders, together from both parties, and workers from across our state proved them all wrong.”

Following the inauguration, Whitmer and other officials will attend a celebration at the Cobo Center in Detriot from 7-10 p.m. The event is free and open to the public but tickets are required.

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    Sounds good Governor. Let’s hold you to it. So far what I’ve seen from our Senator Stabenow is complete partisanship. Every opportunity to stand with Chuck Schumer. I DON’T CARE about New York state nor Washington D.C. I CARE about Michigan. C’mon Debbie – work FOR Michigan, not Pelosi and Schumer – PLEASE. You are supposed to represent ALL of us, Democrats AND Republicans. When do you plan to start?

  • steve

    Just watch. Tomorrow morning she’s going to start fixing the damn roads by demanding the state slap an ungodly per gallon tax on gasoline. She’ll say that with prices so low, the average driver can stand the hit, and maybe even promise to rescind the tax when prices return to normalcy. Of course that’ll never happen, although there are an awful lot of people that’ll believe her. she might reduce the tax but the decrease won’t offset the increase. She’s a Democrat. ‘Nuff said.

  • Mylo Cummings

    We are all screwed now. Michigan will be the highest insurance state, the highest gas tax state and the highest of anything she can get away with. . .

    Good job Voters. Open your wallet, your about to get robbed !

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