VanderWall sworn in Wednesday
State senator Curt VanderWall and other members of the state senate took ceremonial oaths of office Wednesday morning as the 100th Legislature of the State of Michigan begins its session.
It was a day of pomp, ceremony, smiles and friendly conversations.
“It was a little more emotional than I expected it to be,” VanderWall, a Republican from Pere Marquette Township, said moments after the ceremony was completed. “This is very meaningful. I don’t know how exactly to say it.”
Joined by his wife, Diana, his family and a couple dozen supporters, VanderWall had one of the larger groups standing with him while he took the oath given by Stephen Markman, chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.
VanderWall, also serving as chair of the Republican majority caucus, told visitors gathered in his office before the ceremony that he hoped to receive his committee assignments Thursday and that he has been advised, as chair of the Senate’s health committee, he can expect to spend significant time on the road.
But Wednesday morning was about marking the beginning of his first term as state senator.
“It’s now finally here,” Diane VanderWall said of her husband’s new role. “I’m extremely proud. I’m extremely excited. He’s a relational kind of guy and I look forward to see what he can do with it.”
Friend Bill Schwass was among those from Mason County in attendance.
“We know he’s going to represent us well,” Schwass said. “You won’t find anyone who will work harder than Curt. He showed us that as state representative.”
Schwass’s daughter, Jocee, a senior at Mason County Central High School, was in attendance, too. Her father said she’s uncertain of a career path and thought a day in Lansing watching VanderWall get sworn in might be appropriate.
Jocee called it educational and “pretty cool.” She said politics now appears to be a definite option for her.
“It was such an honor to see Mr. VanderWall sworn in and to see how to serve your community,” Jocee said.
VanderWall’s daughter, Alyssa, who helped with his campaign, also called the experience “pretty cool.”
“I know that my dad loves doing what he does, and to see him get sworn in, it’s an honor for him and and honor for me to see it,” she said.
Also taking the oath of office was 20th District Sen. Sean McCann, a Democrat and former Ludington resident now serving the Kalamazoo area. His mother, Dee Payment of Ludington, was present and stood with him and other family members during the oath.
Payment was beaming with pride after the swearing in of her son.
“I am really proud of my son,” she said. “I am proud to be here. He has a wonderful family and he’ll be wonderful for Michigan.”
34th District Sen. Jon Bumstead, a Republican serving Oceana County, also took his oath.
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman issued the oaths.
Each Senator was introduced and invited in with an announcement similar to the one VanderWall received: “The citizens of the 35th Senate District have elected Sen. Curtis VanderWall to represent them as their senator.
“Senator VanderWall will please come forward for the administration of the oath of office.”
At the rostrum where Markman issued the oath, he said: “Do you solemnly swear that you will uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State Michigan and that you faithfully will discharge the duties of the office of state senator, according to the best of your abilities?”
After VanderWall replied, that he would, Markman declared him sworn in as a Michigan senator.
VanderWall and the other senators had previously taken an oath of office so they could start work with the new year.