DETROIT (AP/WOOD) — A newly re-elected Gov. Rick Snyder is quickly turning attention to his No. 1 unfinished priority.
The Republican said Wednesday he will again push the Legislature to approve a plan to permanently raise more money to improve roads before year’s end. His earlier attempts to increase fuel or vehicle registration taxes stalled because of lawmakers’ resistance.
Snyder told reporters in Detroit that he hopes legislators are more open to voting to raise taxes in their “lame-duck” session after the election. He says some were worried an earlier vote could hurt them in August’s primary election.
He also said he would like to focus on career-tech education to get people into skilled trade jobs.
“There’s tens of thousands of well-paying jobs out there,” he said.
Snyder is disciplined when it comes to staying on message — he again reinforced his motto of “relentless positive action” when talking to reporters in Detroit Wednesday morning.
“You’re going to hear that phrase for four more (years),” he said.
He is unshakable in his positive attitude to the point that he ran a campaign so devoid of responses to withering attacks many thought it could make him a one-term governor.
But in the end, he prevailed.
“It’s an honor being elected governor. And hopefully people can see I’m passionate about what I’m doing in terms of trying serve the citizens of Michigan. That’s who I work for. I’m glad you hired me back again, or I got to keep my contract,” Snyder told reporters. “So let’s keep going and let’s make wonderful things happen for the citizens.”
He fielded a few questions before visiting Detroit-area television stations and newspapers personally. He told the assembled media that he is proud of this winning campaign.
“I’m just proud that we ran a positive campaign,” he said. “We didn’t resort to blaming or fighting.”
A few ads supporting the governor’s re-election did take aim at Democratic challenger Mark Schauer.
He said he has a “strong mandate” in a second term despite defeating Schauer by a smaller margin than when he was first elected in 2010.
But Snyder now has even more support in the state legislature. It has been Republican-controlled during his first term, and the GOP’s margin of control widened in Tuesday’s election when they picked up seats in both chambers of the legislature. Republicans now hold 27 of Michigan’s 36 Senate seats and 63 of 110 House seats.
With the strong GOP hold on the legislature, Snyder’s influence may only be limited by his ability to get members of his own party to go along with him.