Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Shirkey+Stamas Brokering Deal For Senate Majority Leader In 2019

Shirkey, left, Stamas, right (DarKen Photography)

By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At

Michigan has only had a first term Senator lead the chamber once in state history, and if the Senators currently eligible for re-election have their way, 2019 won't be an exception.

The buzz around Lansing is that the 8 Senators who hope to return after the 2018 election are coming together to keep control of the Senate in their hands.

The deal currently being floated would put Sen. Mike Shirkey in the Majority Leader's chair from 2019-2021, and Sen. Jim Stamas at the helm from 2021-2023.

One possible issue: new Republican Senators will outnumber the group 18-8 if current seats are held. If a first term Senator can rally the group, they will secure the votes for Majority Leader. 

To buck the 2nd termers, a freshman Senator would need at least 14 members of the 2018 class to vote their way.

Two Senate candidates to watch: State Rep. Laura Cox, and State Rep. Jim Runestead. Both could be major players in a leadership battle should they win their primary and decide they are interested... 

Other possible Senate candidates, like State Rep. Tom Barrett, State Rep. Gary Glenn, and former State Rep. Bob Genetski, could make things interesting as well, they know how the Lansing game is played.

It's too early to dive into this exhaustively, and their are other candidates to keep an eye on, but it will definitely be interesting to see how things shape up, stay tuned!

The 8 Republican Senators expected to be returning in 2018 include:

Sen. Shirkey
Sen. Stamas
Sen. Knollenberg
Sen. Zorn
Sen. Schmidt
Sen. O'Brien
Sen. MacGregor
Sen. Horn
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at