Gretchen Whitmer is a proven fighter, can mobilize people to take on our big problems, and will challenge the status quo in Lansing to get things done for all Michiganders. As a mom, former legislator, and prosecutor, she’ll fight for the things that matter to people and put them first.
Gretchen lives in East Lansing with her husband Marc, daughters Sherry and Sydney, and stepsons Alex, Mason and Winston.
Gretchen is a lifelong Michigander. She was raised in Grand Rapids and East Lansing. Gretchen’s parents taught her and her siblings to work hard. She started her first job at age 14 at Burlingame Lumber in Grand Rapids, and also worked at the Royal Fork Buffet and Target. A proud product of our public schools and graduate of Michigan State University, Gretchen built a life close to home – even moving into a house in the same neighborhood where she grew up. Gretchen is running for governor to build a better Michigan so everyone can build a life for themselves right here, and in the state that’s home to 21 percent of the Earth’s fresh water, Gretchen will work to protect our Great Lakes and clean up our drinking water.
Whitmer learned from her parents – her Mom a Democrat, her Dad a “Milliken” Republican – that everyone is important. That’s why she’s visited all 83 counties in Michigan to listen to community members about the issues that they’re facing. As governor, Gretchen will focus on the things that will actually make a difference in people’s lives right now, like fixing the roads, making health care more affordable, improving education and skills training, cleaning up our drinking water, and repealing the retirement tax.
During her first term in the state legislature, Gretchen took care of her mother at the end of her life while giving birth to and caring for her first daughter. As governor, Gretchen will fight for paid family leave so workers can take time off to care for a sick loved one or newborn.
Gretchen will work with everyone who wants to get things done for Michigan families. As Senate Democratic Leader, she negotiated with Republicans to expand health coverage to more than 680,000 Michiganders through Healthy Michigan. She negotiated a raise in the minimum wage, and because of the work she did, the minimum wage went up for the fourth time this year. As governor, Gretchen will get it done so we can build a better Michigan for everyone.
As Senate Democratic Leader, Gretchen brought workers, labor unions, and businesses together to fight anti-worker legislation. When Governor Snyder and Lansing politicians locked the people out of the capitol to pass right-to-work without any public hearings, Gretchen threw open the doors and led the protest from her office. As governor, Gretchen will make sure every Michigander has a path to a good-paying job so they can raise their family, and she’ll repeal the retirement tax so hardworking Michiganders can keep more of what they earned.
In 2016, Gretchen stepped up to serve as Ingham County Prosecutor, restoring faith in the office after the elected prosecutor was forced to resign following a scandal. She cleaned up a mess and implemented stronger ethics standards. She established a new Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit to go after abusers, sped up the rehabilitation of non-violent first-time offenders, and asked the Michigan State Police to investigate the integrity of the county’s evidence room.
After her service to the state, Gretchen taught at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Gretchen is committed to improving education and skills training so every Michigander has a path to a high wage skill. As a legislator, Gretchen took on governors from both parties when they tried to take money out of the School Aid Fund. As governor, she’ll make sure every child, no matter their zip code, can get a great public education.