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From our State Capitol in Lansing to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, WKAR is committed to explaining how the actions of lawmakers are affecting Michiganders. Political and government reporter Abigail Censky leads this section. There are also stories from Capitol correspondents Cheyna Roth, Rick Pluta and the Associated Press. As the 2020 presidential race begins, look here for reports on the role Michigan will play in electing or re-electing the president.

Gretchen Whitmer Sworn In As Michigan's 49th Governor

UPDATED at 4:30 p.m.: Crowds braved overcast and wintry weather to see Gretchen Whitmer inaugurated as Michigan’s forty-ninth Governor.

Whitmer, a Democrat, took the oath of office, replacing term-limited Republican Governor Rick Snyder. Whitmer pledged to commit to bipartisanship during her tenure.

“We need to come together now," said Gov. Whitmer. "Not as Democrats and Republicans, but as Michiganders. So, let’s fix our roads and be the state that is not paralyzed by partisanship but works together.”

Whitmer, who was the first woman to serve as Majority leader in Michigan’s state senate will be the State’s second female governor.

Whitmer’s cabinet also includes several historic firsts for the state of Michigan.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II is the state’s first African-American Lieutenant Governor.

Attorney General Dana Nessel is the state’s first openly gay statewide official.

ORIGINAL AP copy below from 11:30 a.m.:

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer has become Michigan's 49th governor. The 47-year-old former state lawmaker from East Lansing took the oath of office Tuesday in a swearing-in ceremony outside the state Capitol building.

Whitmer, Michigan's second female governor, said Michigan's problems are not partisan ones. She said potholes, clean water, great schools, and better job skills "are not political," and she pledged to be a "governor for everyone."

Others swore in include Garlin Gilchrist II as lieutenant governor, Dana Nessel as attorney general and Jocelyn Benson as secretary of state. The last time Democrats jointly assumed control of the top four offices was 32 years ago.

Those attending the ceremony include Whitmer's predecessor, Republican Rick Snyder, and Democratic former Govs. Jennifer Granholm and Jim Blanchard. The inaugural theme was "Building Bridges Together."

Abigail Censky is the Politics & Government reporter at WKAR. She started in December 2018.
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