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Local News / Politics

Friday, 5 November, 2010 12:03 PM

Rick Snyder elected Michigan's next governor; Republicans sweep A.G., S.O.S. offices

Ruth Johnson to become state's next Secretary of State while Bill Schuette will be Michigan's new Attorney General


Rick Snyder hugs his son Jeff after winning the election to become Michigan's new governor. Lt. Governor-Elect Brian Calley is pictured on the far left.

by Jason Rzucidlo


DETROIT -- Rick Snyder has never been a politician. However, he will become one on Jan. 1, 2011. Michigan voters selected the Republican businessman to be their next governor. He won by a margin of 19 percent, almost exactly as the polls predicted. The Ann Arbor native ran with a campaign to reinvent Michigan and the nickname of "One Tough Nerd." Ruth Johnson was elected to become the state's next Secretary of State and Bill Schuette was elected Michigan's new Attorney General.

Snyder was born on Aug. 19, 1958 in Battle Creek, Mich. He earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1977 along with a MBA in 1979 and a doctorate degree in 1982. Snyder has a wife named Sue and three children--Jeff, Melissa and Kelsey. He worked for Coopers & Lybrand from 1982 to 1991 and then joined Gateway in 1991. Snyder was named President and COO in 1996. He returned to Ann Arbor to found Avalon Investments Inc. in 1997. Snyder served as Chairman of the Board at Gateway from 2005 to 2007.

"We have come a long way," the newly-elected governor of Michigan said. "It's OK to be different. Now, we're at a milestone. The citizens of the state of Michigan have spoken. It is time to reinvent Michigan. I'd like to thank Mayor Bernero who was very kind in his call. He was very gracious. This is about us working and winning together. I'm looking forward to being a fabulous partner with me, Brian Calley. The reason that brought us here though is because we all love Michigan."

The businessman kicked off his campaign at the Henry Ford Museum on July 21, 2009 at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. He ran against Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, State Sen. Tom George, Congressman Pete Hoekstra and Attorney General Mike Cox to get the Republican nomination. On Aug. 3, 2010, Snyder won the primary with 36 percent of the vote.

"We have a state that's suffering, a state with a broken economy and broken government," he added. "I'm here tonight to talk about the solution. That solution is three key steps. The first step is we need a clear, positive vision for Michigan's future. The second step is if we have point A the disaster and point B the vision, what's the plan to get us between those two steps? The third thing is taking action. I have a bold vision for Michigan's future. It is time for a new era."

The 2010 Republican Victory Party took place inside the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in downtown Detroit. Snyder spoke before hundreds of supporters, campaign workers and the media. His victory speech was about 13 minutes long. Snyder said he would get to work right away to help turn Michigan around. The very next day he met up with current Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm at her office in Detroit's New Center area.

"It's Rick that's the nerd, not me," said Lt. Governor-Elect Brian Calley. "Alright, maybe a little. I am thrilled to accept the call of the people of the state of Michigan to be your next lieutenant governor. This is Michigan's one chance. We've got to change the culture first. That means no more east side versus west side. That means no more rural vs. urban. We're going to throw aside class warfare, racial and ethnic divides and yes, Republican and Democrat. Michigan's problems are so bad that we need 10 million people pulling in the same direction. That's what I love about Rick Snyder."

Ruth Johnson was born on Jan. 8, 1955. The Holly, Mich. native is a former public school teacher and small business owner. From 1988 to 1998, Johnson was the Oakland County Commissioner. She currently serves as the County Clerk and Register of Deeds for Oakland County. Johnson was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 1998, and re-elected in 2000 and 2002. In 2010, she beat State Rep. Paul Scott, State Sen. Michelle McMannus, Calhoun County Clerk Ann Norlander and State Sen. Cameron Brown for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State. Johnson won the general election with 51 percent of the vote and will take over as the third straight woman in the Michigan Secretary of State office.

"I'm honored by the faith and the trust that you and other Michiganians have put in me," the newly-elected Michigan Secretary of State said. "I'll build on the successes of Candice Miller and Terry Lynn Land with more technology, streamlined, more convenience and voter integrity. I'll fight for you, I'll work for you and you can be sure that every vote will be one citizen, one vote, voter integrity. Tonight, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we roll up our sleeves and go to work. Thank you so much."

Bill Schuette was born on Oct. 13, 1953 in Midland, Mich. He attended attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and in 1976 graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in the Foreign Service. Schuette also received degrees from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and the University of San Francisco School of Law. He served as a U.S. Congressman from Michigan's 10th district from 1985 until 1991. Then, he was named Director of the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture, where he served until 1993. In 2002, he was elected judge in the Michigan Court of Appeals. Schuette won the general election with 53 percent of the vote and will take over as the second straight Republican in the Michigan Attorney General office.

"People are fed up with the failures of the last eight years," the newly-elected Michigan Attorney General said. "People want a safer Michigan with less taxes, less spending, less government and more freedom. I’m humbled by the trust that the citizens of Michigan have placed in me. I look forward to the task ahead of us. We have a lot of problems we have to face in the state."

Snyder, Johnson, Schuette and all other candidates who won in the Nov. 2 general election will take office on Jan. 1, 2011.

Udae Sandhu, a resident of Ann Arbor, always votes for Democrats, but this time he decided to give Snyder a chance. "Michigan was founded on the entrepreneurial spirit and no other candidate as long as I can remember to come close to harnessing that spirit and what will bring Michigan out of the darkness it's in now," he said. "I think we're going to be something greater than we've ever been before. I think Michigan has been the poster board poorest state. Now, we're going to be a beacon for the rest of the United States as a state that can turn it around."

William Hamilton from St. Clair Shores typically votes for some Republican candidates and some Democratic candidates. "I think he'll bring the right change to Michigan," he said. "I volunteered for his campaign. With eliminating the [Michigan] Small Business Tax (MBT), I think small businesses will be able to thrive. Small business is the backbone of our economy, so we'll be able to thrive. We're just excited because we worked so hard on Snyder's and everyone's campaign."

Janelle Hubuch, a resident of Sterling Heights, worked on Snyder's campaign. "I think he wants to keep young people here," she said. "We're here and we're young people. We just graduated from college and definitely think he can do it. Eliminating the MBT will definitely add more jobs. It was a very powerful ticket. I don't see how any Democrat could win. Go Rick!"

Andrew McLemore Jr. from Detroit is a long time Republican. "I've been very supportive of the Republican party," he said. "I was on the ticket with DeVos, I was on the ticket with Posthumous. Rick came along and he's the right guy for Michigan at the right time. Because he is a business guy, he understands the issues, he understands what we need and attracting folks like my daughter. I'm real concerned because she wanted to move to California. I wanted a governor that created an environment that she could stay here. That excites me tremendously."

His daughter Ashlee McLemore said: "I'm young and interested for the jobs and looking for change. I feel he can do that for us. I don't want to leave my family. I'm leaving for jobs, fresh out of college. If he can change that, I will gladly stay. That's my big issue. I'm right there with my dad, meeting the same people."

These Republican victories in Michigan were part of a much larger GOP sweep across America. Ten states from Pennsylvania to Iowa that currently have Democratic governors will have Republican governors on Jan. 1. In addition, the GOP added more than 60 seats in the U.S. House.

“Mr. Snyder will soon be governor,” Virg Bernero said during his concession speech. “He has promised to govern as a moderate like Bill Milliken, not like Jon Engler. If he does that, I promise I will partner with Rick Snyder and will work with him hand in hand. But if that doesn’t happen, we will be watching.”

Democrats blame voters that elected Barack Obama for not voting this year. Ohio Rep. John Boehner will take over for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House in January.




Snyder addresses supporters and the media with his wife Sue by his side.



Lt. Governor-Elect Brian Calley at the 2010 Republican Victory Party.



Michigan Secretary of State-Elect Ruth Johnson



Michigan Supreme Court Justice-Elect Mary Beth Kelly with Justice-Elect Bob Young Jr. behind directly her.



Michigan Attorney General-Elect Bill Schuette


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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.