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Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer prepares for transition to office

Gretchen Whitmer

Starting in January, Michigan will have a Democrat in the governor’s seat. Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer won the office in Tuesday's midterm election. Whitmer is already making plans for her administration.

Listen above to hear Stateside's conversation with Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer. 

Whitmer faces an adversarial state Legislature. Republicans kept the majority in both the House and Senate. But Whitmer has said throughout her campaign that she’ll work with anyone to fix things in Michigan like the roads and education.

That bipartisan promise could extend to her administration. Whitmer says she’s open to appointing Republicans.

“There is, I think a need and an expectation that our government and the tables that make decisions in the state have real representation of them,” she says. "I can find common ground on issues with Republican leaders or not. We are going to sit and meet and start to build relationships, and I think when you talk you can find common ground, but if you’re not talking, you don’t have any shot at it.”

Whitmer has already met with Governor Rick Snyder to work on transition plans.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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