LANSING, Mich. (WOOD/AP) — Former lieutenant governor, state legislator and senior adviser for Gov. Rick Snyder, Dick Posthumus, has been named the governor’s new chief of staff.
“There are few people in this state who can compare to Dick Posthumus when it comes to having a depth of knowledge about state government and how it should be serving the people of Michigan,” said Snyder in a release on Thursday.
Posthumus fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Jarrod Agen, who is leaving Lansing to work for Vice President Mike Pence.
Posthumus, a Republican from the Grand Rapids area, has been involved in politics and government for more than 45 years — since before he could vote. He ran John Engler’s first campaign for state House when he was only 19. At the time, the voting age was 21. He served as a state senator for 16 years. He was lieutenant governor when Engler became governor, and then ran for governor himself. He was not successful, but he doesn’t dwell on it.
“Sometimes things don’t happen. I ran for governor and lost, but there was a reason behind that and I don’t look back with any regrets,” Posthumus said.
He has served as Snyder’s senior adviser since he took office in 2011.
“He’s done in the last six years what I would have done had I been elected governor,” Posthumus said of Snyder.
Posthumus said he shares Snyder’s positive attitude.
He’ll be helping Snyder in his final two years in office — but he doesn’t use the phrase “lame duck.”
“This is not a ‘lame-duck’ time. This is a full two years here, 25 percent of our time, it’s the fourth quarter,” Posthumus said.
In that fourth quarter, Snyder and Posthumus will be busy if they want to accomplish their list of unfinished business.
“There are people’s pensions that are working for local governments that are in trouble because they’re not funded. We’ve got to work to save those pensions for their sake … We’ve got an educational system we’ve got to bring into the 21st century to prepare kids for the carriers that are out there,” Posthumus listed. “We have an infrastructure that is old and we need to begin investing in that.”
Snyder already addressed those three issues in the budget he unveiled Wednesday, but he and his new chief of staff concede there is much more to do.
It’s an ambitious agenda for the next two years — during which time the next election cycle will ramp up, keeping the administration and lawmakers busy.
–The Associated Press contributed to this report.