Lansing — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s second term in the state’s top office began Sunday with a swearing-in ceremony outside the Capitol.
Whitmer, a Democrat and former state lawmaker from East Lansing, won a second term as governor in the Nov. 8 election, defeating Republican Tudor Dixon by about 11 percentage points. New Michigan Supreme Court Justice Kyra Harris Bolden administered Whitmer’s oath of office.
The inauguration event started at 10:30 a.m. in downtown Lansing with temperatures hanging in the high 30s. Rain stopped before the festivities began.
Whitmer told the crowd of about 1,000 people she was excited to get work.
“My fellow Michiganders, I am honored that you have put your trust in me to continue leading our beautiful state,” she said. “I will be a governor for all Michiganders and I’ll work with anyone who wants to solve problems and get things done.”
The Nov. 8 election saw Democrats take control of the state House and Senate for the first time in 40 years. The victories will allow Whitmer’s party to set the agenda in Lansing and enact laws without Republican votes if Democrats can hold their slim majorities in the Legislature together.
The governor has previously vowed to use her second term to pursue tax relief, to strengthen infrastructure, to improve education and to secure the future of the auto industry.
The early policies she hopes will pass the Legislature include easing taxes on retirement income and expanding the earned income tax credit for low-income workers. Democrats will hold 20 of the 38 state Senate seats and 56 of the 110 House seat to begin the 2023-2024 term.
Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Attorney General Dana Nessel and members of the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals, State Board of Education, University of Michigan Board of Regents, Michigan State University Board of Trustees and Wayne State Board of Governors who were elected on Nov. 8 also took their oaths of office during the New Year’s Day ceremony.
During Whitmer’s first inauguration ceremony on Jan. 1, 2019, she called for compromise and cooperation among Michigan officials.