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Granholm to co-chair transition team if Clinton wins

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will co-chair Hillary Clinton’s transition team should the Democratic presidential candidate win the White House in November.

The Clinton campaign on Tuesday announced a transition team that Granholm will co-chair along with former national security adviser Tom Donilon, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden and Maggie Williams, director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

Former U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado will serve as chairman of the transition team. Salazar served with Clinton in first term of the Obama administration as secretary of the Interior Department and served with her in the U.S. Senate when Clinton represented New York state.

Granholm has been a close ally to Clinton in the former secretary of state’s second bid for the presidency. Granholm serves as a senior adviser to the Clinton-aligned Correct The Record super political action committee, a group that responds to Republican attacks on Clinton’s record.

Since leaving office, Granholm has become a regular television political commentator and moved to Berkeley, Calif., where she has taught public policy courses at the University of California Berkeley.

Granholm has been on an unpaid leave of absence from the university since September 2015 that will continue until June 2017, said Henry Brady, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.

John Podesta, chairman of Clinton’s campaign, will serve as president of the “transition project” for Clinton and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential candidate.

“While our campaign remains focused on the task at hand of winning in November, Hillary Clinton wants to be able to get to work right away as president-elect on building an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top,” Podesta said in a statement.

Clinton has created a nonprofit organization called the Clinton-Kaine Transition Project to begin planning for the next administration should she prevail in the Nov. 8 general election over Republican Donald Trump.

Granholm’s name has been frequently mentioned in Democratic political circles as a possible attorney general, U.S. Supreme Court justice or Democratic National Committee chair under a new Clinton administration.

In May, Trump appointed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to lead his White House transition team should he win the presidency.

The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 9 that former Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers will play a senior role in Trump’s transition. Rogers, R-Brighton, has not publicly confirmed the report.

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Twitter: @ChadLivengood