- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Outnumbered Democrats have chosen a new leader of their small caucus in the Michigan Senate.

Sen. Jim Ananich (AN-uh-NIK) of Flint was picked to be minority leader Thursday. He will succeed Sen. Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing, who’s leaving the Legislature under term limits.

Like Whitmer, Ananich could have the leadership job a while. He’s finishing a partial term and can still serve eight more years in the Senate.

Ananich is a former public school teacher from a Democratic-heavy district who’s focused on issues such as college affordability and blight.

Ananich says he’s shown he can work with the other side but also oppose Republicans when needed. He hopes the Legislature approves a road-funding deal before year’s end.

Senate Republicans padded their 26-12 supermajority to 27-11 in Tuesday’s election.

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