Whitmer names Prusi director of Northern Michigan Office
MARQUETTE — It was about 15 years ago — when Mike Prusi was a state senator — that he first met Gretchen Whitmer, who then was a state representative from the Lansing area.
“I know she has deep affection for the Upper Peninsula,” Prusi said this morning. “She’s been coming up here well before she considered running for statewide office.”
Now, as Michigan’s new governor, Whitmer named former state Senate Democratic Leader Prusi as director of her Northern Michigan Office in Marquette.
Prusi, an Ishpeming resident who served as a surrogate speaker for Whitmer on several occasions during the election campaign, said he wasn’t expecting to be offered a position in the new governor’s administration.
“She asked me to help in the U.P. because I know the players and I know the scene,” Prusi said. “I said I’d be willing to give it a try.”
Prusi served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1995-2000 and in the Michigan Senate from 2003-2010, and was elected Senate Democratic leader in 2008, according to a release from the governor’s office. Prior to his legislative career, Negaunee native Prusi worked for 20 years as an iron ore miner and served three terms as president of Local Union 4950 of the United Steelworkers of America, which represented workers at the Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.’s Empire Mine in Palmer.
“Mike Prusi is a lifelong champion for hardworking families in Northern Michigan,” Whitmer said in the release. “I was proud to serve alongside him in the Legislature and I know that he’ll continue to get things done for Michigan workers, families and businesses in our Marquette office.”
Prusi said in the release: “I am excited to get back to work for the people of Northern Michigan. Families in the U.P. need advocates in state government who will work every day to solve problems for them. I look forward to working with Gov. Whitmer as we get things done for hardworking Michiganders.”
The governor’s Northern Michigan Office is located at 234 W. Baraga Ave., Marquette, in the Marquette County Courthouse Annex.
“This is my fourth day on the job, so I am in the process of getting things set up right now,” Prusi said.
He can be reached at 906-228-8251 or via email at email@example.com.