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State of Michigan Election Update

December 1, 2016

The November 8th elections will bring many new faces to state government and to the state university governing boards.

Control of the state House of Representatives will remain in Republican control by the same 67-43 margin come January. Many pundits believed that while the Democrats would probably not gain control of the House, they would certainly gain seats. This turned out not to be the case.

Each party gained a seat that was previously held by the other party. Republicans gained a seat previously held by Democrat in the election of Representative-elect Joe Bellino of Monroe. Democrats picked up a seat with Representative-elect Darrin Camilleri of Brownstown Township.

Rep. Tom Leonard (R-Dewitt) was named by members of his caucus the next Speaker of the House, while Rep. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) will be the new Democratic Leader following Rep. Tim Greimel’s (D-Auburn Hills) announcement that he would not seek another term as Leader.

Representative Laura Cox (R-Livonia) will be the first female to Chair the House Appropriations Committee.

Due to term limits and the elevation of Representatives Cox and Singh to leadership positions, there will be several new members on the House Higher Education Appropriations Committee next term.

The State Board of Education will now go from a 6-2 Democratic majority to a 4-4 split following the victory of Republicans Nikki Snyder of Whitmore Lake and Tom McMillin of Rochester Hills.

Democrats also lost one seat on each of the University Boards. Michigan State will go from a 5-3 Democratic majority to a 4-4 split with the election of Dan Kelly and incumbent Dianne Byrum. The University of Michigan will go from a 6-2 Democratic majority to 5-3 with the election of Incumbent Denise Ilitch and Ron Weiser.

The Wayne State University Board of Governors will also move from a 6-2 Democratic majority to 5-3 with the election of Republican Dr. Michael Busuito and Democrat Mark Gaffney.  


Newly elected Wayne State University Board of Governors Michael Busuito (L) and Mark Gaffney (R)


Division of Government and Community Affairs
4092 Faculty Administration Building, 656 W. Kirby • Detroit, MI 48202
Tel: (313) 577-5284