Kathleen O’Reilly Farhat to serve as top staff in the new Senate Democratic majority

LANSING, Mich. — Today, incoming Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) announced Kathleen O’Reilly Farhat as her chief of staff starting in January. The chief of staff position will manage caucus operations and employees, directing the implementation of the Senate Democrats’ people-first legislative agenda.

“Kathleen is a proven leader in the Capitol and is trusted equally by senators, staff, and policy stakeholders,” Sen. Brinks said. “Her wealth of experience in managing legislative, communications, and constituent service systems will be key as we move into this exciting new chapter in state governance. Perhaps most notably, Kathleen has been there every step of the way on our path to the majority. She knows our history because she helped write it. Her depth of knowledge and passion for good policy will be instrumental in our successes, and I’m delighted to have her leading the team.” 

Farhat comes to Sen. Brinks office with years of experience with the Michigan Legislature, most recently having served eight years as chief of staff to the Minority Vice Chair on Appropriations, Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D-Lansing). Previously, she served as Chief Deputy Clerk for Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, as well as in the House of Representatives in various roles for then-Representative Byrum. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied political science pre-law and psychology. She lives in Bath Twp. with her husband and two sons.