1993 : Michigan House Elects Co-Speakers

January 13, 2023 all-day


On January 13, 1993, state Reps. Curtis Hertel (D-Detroit) and Paul Hillegonds (R-Holland) were unanimously elected co-speakers of the Michigan House. They represented constituencies on opposite sides of the state and didn’t know each other very well.

The unique arrangement came as the chamber was divided with 55 Democrats and 55 Republicans after the 1992 election. In December, the two men met at a bar in Holt outside the Capital City to discuss their interests, families and the political way forward. It turned out to be the beginning of a good friendship.

Under the mutually agreed upon leadership agreement, Hertel and Hillegonds alternated as presiding speaker each month. Meanwhile, the opposing party during that period would control the committees and the flow of legislation to the House floor.

Source : Ken Coleman, “On this day in 1993: Michigan House elects bipartisan co-speakers“, Michigan Advance, January 13, 2022.