In a press conference at the Ford School of Public Policy today, Michigan governor-elect Rick Snyder announced the appointment of former lieutenant governor Dick Posthumus as senior advisor and current Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon — a former Democratic candidate for governor — as treasurer in the Snyder administration.
In naming both appointees — one Republican and one Democrat — Snyder is bringing in two politicians with extensive experience working in Lansing. During his campaign, Snyder branded himself as an outsider with the business acumen needed to fix the state.
At the press conference, Snyder said the two appointees represent a continuation of the vision he laid out for the state during his campaign, adding that they have experience in both the public and private sectors.
“It’s bringing the best of both worlds together,” he said.
Snyder also eschewed party labels during the press conference, saying he chose Dillon and Posthumus based on their experience not their party affiliation.
“Let’s stop fighting over the extremes and recognize Michigan is in a crisis,” Snyder said. “And we’re going to move forward, we’re going to roll up our sleeves, solve the problems, that’s what the people elected us to do.”
Posthumus holds the record for the longest-serving Senate majority leader in Michigan and is also the former CEO of Compatico, a furniture manufacturing company in Grand Rapids. In addition, he served as lieutenant governor to former Republican governor John Engler.
Posthumus’s role as a senior adviser will be to assist Snyder and his team in developing public policy and translating it to legislation. At the press conference, Snyder said he looks forward to working with Posthumus and lauded his vast experience in both the public and private sectors.
“I’m extremely excited about having Dick join the administration,” Snyder said. “His background is absolutely fabulous … He’s got great legislative experience. And he’s really going to be a leader in helping us on legislative affairs.”
Posthumus said at the press conference that he never anticipated taking on the role as senior adviser and merely suggested Snyder create the position to ease the transition from the private sector to the public sector.
“Coming from the outside, things are a little different to accomplish in Lansing mode,” Posthumus said at the press conference. “To accomplish things in the legislative process is a little different than the private sector and I urged him to bring some people on to assist lieutenant governor-elect (Brian) Calley in working with the process to implement legislation for Michigan.”
Posthumus said he initially declined the job because he “wasn’t looking for a job in administration,” but he was soon persuaded by Snyder to join his team.
“If any of you a month ago would have said I would have been here to talk about this subject today I would have said you were crazy,” Posthumus said.
“The governor-elect and his team is pretty persuasive and they convinced me that maybe some of the experiences I have in a very small way could help the administration succeed so that’s why I’m here today,” he continued.
At the press conference Snyder said that like Posthumus, Dillon has a “fabulous combination of experience” that will be beneficial to the Snyder administration.
Though Dillon was vying to run as a Democrat for governor earlier in the year before Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero won the Democratic nomination, he said he decided to join Snyder’s team because he’s “very impressed with the governor-elect’s vision for the state.”
“We need fundamental change in Michigan,” Dillon said at the press conference. “I also believe that because these changes are so dramatic, we’ve got to shed the labels. Democrats and Republicans need to work together.”