Michigan Democratic Party elects Lon Johnson as leader

Lon Johnson, D-Kalkaksa, was elected as the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party

The Michigan Democratic Party has elected a new leader for the party.

Lon Johnson, D-Kalkaska, will be serving as the party chair, taking the reigns from longtime leader Mark Brewer.

Johnson was elected at the Michigan Democratic Party's mid-term convention in Detroit.

Speaking to over 3,600 party members at the convention, Johnson pledged to "renew our purpose" and "reclaim our great state."

Johnson won the election acclamation, meaning a ballot-less election, after Brewer withdrew his candidacy to avoid a lengthy battle at the convention, and a likely loss.

Brewer served as the party chair for 18 years but political heavy-hitters like Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow threw their support behind Johnson.

While Obama and Stabenow won in Michigan, Democrats weren't happy about "loses" at the state and local levels. Brewer spent the last part of his term under fire for loses in Lansing, including the passage of right-to-work legislation and the failed attempt to write collective bargaining into the state constitution.

"We believe that the combination of challenges and opportunities that dramatically confront Michigan Democrats today have called on us as elected Democrats to urge a new and inclusive chapter in MDP leaders," read the letter Sens. Levin and Stabenow signed in support of Johnson's campaign.

High-ranking party member met last month to discuss a possible change in leadership. Reports also suggested the United Auto Workers union, one of the Democratic Party's biggest supporters, led the search to replace Brewer.

Johnson's wife, Juliana Smoot, was deputy manager of President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.