Rutledge taking over Democratic floor leader position in Michigan House
That makes him second in command to Democratic Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, who said he looks forward to working with Rutledge on priorities that matter to Michigan families.
"David has been a tireless supporter of Michigan's middle-class families, students and seniors, and I'm confident that he will work hard on behalf of all Michiganders," Greimel said.
The floor leader is responsible for coordinating speaking opportunities for representatives in the House chamber and proposing amendments to legislation, among other duties.
Current Floor Leader Rudy Hobbs, D-Southfield, is leaving the position as he prepares to run for Congress.
"I'm so humbled and grateful for the trust that my fellow representatives have placed in me," Rutledge said in a statement. "I'm excited to take on this new role in the Democratic Caucus, and look forward to working toward solutions that will make Michigan a better place for all residents."
Rutledge survived a five-way race on Wednesday to become the next floor leader for his party after a lengthy caucus meeting and four ballots that narrowed the candidate field from five to one. In the final vote, he edged past Rep. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights.
Rutledge was first elected to the state House in 2010, replacing Alma Wheeler Smith after she was term-limited. He has spent decades serving in various government roles.
He was Superior Township's supervisor from 1980 to 1988 and served 30 years on the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission.
He spent six years on the Washtenaw County Road Commission immediately before being elected to the state House, and 13 years on the Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees. He also worked as deputy director of the research staff for House Democrats in the 1980s.
In the state House, Rutledge has pushed for increased education funding, tax relief for seniors and middle-class families, and improved access to health care. He's now serving on a task force that's looking at new solutions for improving struggling schools in Michigan.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.