New Year at State Capitol Brings History-Making New Leaders

Laura Weber Davis/WDET

Garlin Gilchrist II

Michigan has a new state government in 2019, and with it comes many new leaders. Some of those leaders have already made history in the positions they are taking.

For the first time in a long time, a Detroit native has been elected to the governor’s office. Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II has had a prolific and accomplished political career — and he’s only in his mid-30s. He now serves at the governor’s side and will play an important role as her main voice in the state Legislature, where he will preside over the Senate.

Stephen Henderson speaks with Gilchrist about his life, career, and new position.

Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering)

Henderson also speaks with the person who will lead Republicans in the state House, where the GOP maintains control — albeit with a smaller majority compared to what it has had for the last several years. 

Incoming state House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) is just 30 years old — the youngest state House speaker in more than a century. He may be young, but in the age of term limits, Chatfield has as much experience in the House as any of his colleagues and has already served in leadership and as a committee chair.

Click on the audio player above to hear those conversations.

Image credit: Gretchen Whitmer for Governor/Michigan House

About the Author

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