LANSING, Mich. – Jocelyn Benson was sworn in this morning for a second term as Michigan’s 43rd Secretary of State.
Benson took the oath of office, administered by Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Welch, on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol. Michiganders and well-wishers from across the state were in attendance, including Benson’s husband Ryan Friedrichs and their six-year-old son.
Benson reflected on her first term, including administering the highest turnout elections in state history; making Michigan a national leader in fair, secure, and accessible elections; and instilling a new standard for excellent customer service in state government with Michiganders in and out of Secretary of State branch offices in under 30 minutes no matter where they live.
Benson’s remarks as prepared are available here.
“I stand before you today with the firm belief that every citizen deserves to live in a state where their voice is heard and where truth prevails,” Benson said. “Where government works for everyone and where we work together – as Democrats, Republicans and independents – to ensure our state is safe, strong, and free. That’s who we are as Michiganders and as Americans.”
“We will emerge from this time in our history with a stronger democracy and a stronger Michigan,” Benson said. “It is the greatest honor of my life to serve as your Secretary of State. I am grateful for your trust and your support, and I am ready to continue working hard and fighting harder every day in my service to you and to the interests of our state, our people, and our democracy.”
A graduate of Harvard Law School and an expert on civil rights law, education law, and election law, Benson served as dean of Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. She continues to serve as vice chair of the advisory board for the Levin Center at Wayne Law, which she founded with former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. Previously, Benson was an associate professor and associate director of Wayne Law’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. Benson is the author of State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process, the first major book on the role of the secretary of state in enforcing election and campaign finance laws. She is also a co-founder and former president of Military Spouses of Michigan, a network dedicated to providing support and services to military spouses and their children.
In 2015, Benson became one of the youngest women in history to be inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. In 2022, she was named a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her work in protecting democracy.