LANSING (AP) – Michigan Republicans have a new leadoff hitter as they prepare to answer incoming Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm with their own proposals.

Paul Wong
State Sen. Ken Sikkema of Wyoming will be the Republican majority leader in the Senate after Jan. 1.

But Senate Majority Leader-elect Ken Sikkema says there are other top GOP leaders to share the party’s efforts.

And he says that while Granholm won “a personality victory,” the GOP “won the policy victory.”

“I am ready to lead,” the Wyoming, Mich. Republican declared late last month after being elected Senate Republican leader for the next four years.

But he was quick to note he’ll be sharing the power with other top Republican officials, including House Speaker Rick Johnson of LeRoy, new Attorney General Mike Cox, new Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and Republican majorities in Michigan’s congressional delegation and the state House and Senate.

“The Senate Republicans and the House Republicans are going to work collectively on a Republican agenda to accomplish these things,” Sikkema said, ticking off goals of improving education, attracting business, protecting the environment and creating affordable and accessible health care.

“From a Republican legislative standpoint, both the speaker and I and our caucuses are going to have to step up to the plate and exert the kind of leadership I think this state needs and is looking for from us,” Sikkema said.

“The governor will have her agenda. And at some point, if we’re going to make progress, there will be a meeting of the minds.”

“The reality is, under divided government, to make progress nobody’s going to get their way entirely. We’re going to have to work together.”

Observers are waiting to see if Sikkema and other GOP leaders can deliver the Republican agenda without the power of Gov. John Engler to back them.

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