Skubick: Governor-Elect Whitmer ready to play hardball with lawmakers

Michigan

Governor-Elect Gretchen Whitmer staged her first news conference in Detroit today pledging to work with the Republican legislature but if she has to, she is telling 6 News, she can play hardball if she has to.

Governor-Elect Gretchen Whitmer wants to work with the Republican legislature to move her agenda and she was asked what other governors have done wrong in dealing with lawmakers and she hinted she could act like hardball Governor John Engler.

“First and foremost, not to assume that the legislature are a bunch of employees,” said Whitmer. “When you talk you can find common ground but if there is no talking you can’t find that.”

So would she be tough like John Engler was?

“Yeah, the people elected me to be governor,” she answered.

But will she threaten lawmakers?

She answered that with a laugh, saying, “OK, next question.”

Ms. Whitmer reports she has 55 days to assemble her administration and former Gov. Jim Blanchard reports he was swamped with job requests when he was elected.

“I had 20,000 resumes to review and she will get an equal amount,” explained Mr. Blanchard.

Her first priority is not to fix the roads but to fix the water.

“We’ve got a lot of communities that can’t drink their water out of the tap. So we will work on infrastructure and this is at the top of the list.”

The governor-elect was set to meet with the current governor to iron out the transition.  When Ms. Whitmer was in the legislature Mr. Snyder confessed he did not have much of a relationship with her but now he’s pledged to make the transition seamless.

Ms. Whitmer and the new 7 member first family will move into the executive residence, which Governor Snyder did not do. And one of the first things she wanted to know was how soon can her two girls get into the home and stake out their territory.  

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