Michigan House Republicans name new leader for January session

(Source: http://bit.ly/2d3vyWn License: http://bit.ly/2bBHhe9)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Rep. Tom Leonard will lead Michigan House Republicans when the next Legislature begins a two-year session in January.

Leonard, a second-term representative from DeWitt, won the leadership job when second-term Rep. Rob VerHeulen of Walker dropped from the race and backed Leonard.

In a statement Tuesday, Leonard and VerHeulen say they’re merging their leadership teams and moving forward together.

If Republicans keep the House majority in the November election, Leonard will be speaker. If Democrats win the majority, Leonard will be minority leader.

Speaker Kevin Cotter is leaving the House under term limits.

VerHeulen says it’s time to “put all of the focus on bringing back the successful House Republican majority this fall.” Leonard calls VerHeulen a “close friend” and says he has the “utmost respect” for him.


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