Grand Rapids philanthropist and education reform advocate Betsy DeVOS, President Donald TRUMP‘s nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education, was named MIRS’ first Political Figure of the Year for 2016 on Monday as part of its year-end series on public figures who have stood out in the categories of effectiveness, impact and level of activity.
Political Figure of the Year nominees also included Michigan Republican Party Chair Ronna Romney McDANIEL, Sen. David KNEZEK (D-Dearborn Heights), Flint Mayor Karen WEAVER and U.S. Rep.-Elect Jack BERGMAN.
As for DeVos, her campaign activity connected with the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP), stood out in a year in which some Republicans declined to actively work to support Trump, who was admittedly not her first pick during the primary.
Of GLEP’s 44 endorsed candidates, 41 were successful. The DeVos’ political sway also helped craft the final Detroit Public Schools (DPS) legislation and bills that require 3rd graders to read at grade level before graduating to the 4th grade.
The DeVos family, also, stuck with House Republicans and donated heavily to the House Republicans in the campaign’s final weeks, giving them the resources needed to maintain their 63-47 majority.