Whitmer will work with Republicans, but will 'use every lever of power' to complete agenda

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DETROIT (WJRT) (11/7/2018) - Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer is hoping to work with Republicans who control the Michigan Legislature, but she also pledged to "use every lever of power" afforded to her office to accomplish her agenda.

Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer addresses reporters on Wednesday, hours after declaring victory in the race of Republican Bill Schuette.

She spoke to reporters at the Motor City Casino in Detroit on Wednesday morning, hours after she claimed victory in the governor's race over Republican Bill Schuette.

Whitmer and Lt. Gov.-elect Garland Gilchrist understand the task before them, as Republicans still hold sizable majorities in both the State House and Senate. They pledged to "get the job done," which was a slogan throughout their campaign.

However, Whitmer made it clear that she will explore every option to get her agenda through.

"When you talk, you can find common ground. But if you're not talking you don't have any shot at it," she said. "The people of Michigan have elected me to be their governor. I'm going to use every lever of power of office to get the agenda accomplished that I ran on. That's what people expect."

Whitmer also discussed her biggest priorities after she takes the oath of office on Jan. 1 and what issues she plans to pursue first. She also plans to name her transition team later Wednesday, who will help set up her administration.

Schuette spent much of his concession speech Tuesday night thanking supporters and his campaign team. As for whether he's done with politics, the outgoing Michigan attorney general couldn't say.

For now, he's looking forward to seeing his running mate, Lisa Posthumus Lyons, and other young Republicans take the party's mantle and move forward.

"I think the key thing is -- and Lisa will be involved with this -- you've got to get involved, get engaged and, you know, the party will have to be rebuilt," Schuette said. "That's what'll happen. The party will have to be rebuilt."

Lyons hopes to help party leaders reconnect with the base and grow the Republican Party across Michigan ahead of the 2020 election cycle.

"It's about the people and the people that make up these parties and working with them individually to grow the party and to move Michigan forward," she said.

Although he's not certain about his next professional move, Schuette said he plans to spend much more time with his wife next year. His term as attorney general ends on Dec. 31.

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