BAY CITY – Surrounded by family members, supporters and local leaders, State Representative-elect Charles Brunner (D-Bay City) was sworn into office on Wednesday during a ceremony at the UAW Local 362 Hall.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as our State Representative and I am eager to get to work making the changes we need in Lansing,” said Brunner, who will begin his first term representing the 96th District when the 96th Legislature convenes in January. “We face tremendous challenges as a state, and I will work hard every day with colleagues in both parties to find solutions to those challenges. Creating and protecting good-paying jobs – including those in the evolving auto industry – will be a top priority. And as a longtime educator, I know firsthand how important a high-quality education is to a child’s future. I will fight to make sure Bay County schools get the resources they need to prepare all our children to compete in the global economy.”

Brunner was sworn in by the Honorable Joseph K. Sheeran, who serves as a judge in the 18th Circuit Court. Brunner has long been an active community and local government leader. He served as Bay City Commissioner from 2001 to 2007, serving as President for part of that time. Brunner became Bay City Mayor in 2007 and stepped down on Nov. 30 after being elected to the House.

At the swearing-in, Brunner also presented State Senator Jim Barcia (D-Bay City) with a key to the city in honor of his more than three decades of public service. Barcia is leaving the Senate due to term limits.

“Senator Barcia has been an incredible advocate for our Saginaw Bay families, workers and communities,” Brunner said. “As a Bay City official and an advocate of the auto industry, I can say that Jim has always been there when we needed him. His service has been marked by integrity, commitment to principle and the kind of bipartisanship that we need more than ever from our leaders. For Jim, it is always about the people, not the party. His example is one that I will strive to follow as I serve the people of the 96th District.”