Curtis Hertel, Sr. the last Michigan House Speaker before term limits swung into effect, was widely remembered Monday for his ability to work in a bipartisan manner with Republicans during an historic 55-55 party split in the House.
Hertel labored alongside Paul Hillegonds as co-speaker from 1993 through 1994 and held the Speakership outright from 1997 through 1998.
Hertel Sr. – the 64th Michigan Speaker of the Michigan House – was first elected to the House in 1980. In all, Hertel served in the Michigan House from 1981 until 1998.
The hallmark of Hertel Sr.’s service was undoubtedly the unique shared power relationship he had with Hillegonds. Following that two years of shared power, both men were widely respected by Lansing insiders for their ability to work across the aisle on substantive policy developments, despite political differences.
The Hertel family is well known for their public service in Michigan political circles, with all three brothers, Curtis Sr., John, and Dennis serving in political offices throughout their career. John Hertel served in the Michigan State Senate, representing the 2nd District from 1974 to 1982, and Dennis Hertel served in the Michigan House of Representatives, representing the 14th District from 1975 to 1980, and then as US Congressman from the Michigan 14th District from 1981 to 1993. Hertel Sr.’s son, Curtis Jr., is serving his first term in the Michigan State Senate.
During Hertel’s speakership he hosted the last President of the United States to visit the Michigan Capitol when then-President Bill Clinton addressed a joint session of the 89th Michigan Legislature on March 6, 1997. Prior to Clinton’s 1997 address the last President to speak at the state capitol was Theodore Roosevelt.
Hertel Sr. was a proud graduate of Wayne State University.
Source : “Hertel Remembered for Ability To Work With Others”, MIRS, March 28, 2016.