Prusi to staff Whitmer’s UP 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. “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. 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.

The governor’s Northern Michigan Office is located at 234 W. Baraga Ave., Marquette, in the Marquette County Courthouse Annex.

Prusi can be reached at 906-228-8251 or via email at prusim@michigan.gov.