Gretchen Whitmer is a proven fighter, who has mobilized Michiganders to take on the big problems facing our state, and who has challenged the status quo in Lansing to get things done for all Michiganders. As a mom, former legislator, prosecutor, and Governor, she fights 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 ran 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 as a candidate in 2018, she’s visited all 83 counties in Michigan to listen to community members about the issues that they’re facing. As governor, Gretchen has focused on the things that have actually made 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, repealing the retirement tax and managing Michigan through the coronavirus pandemic.
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 has fought for paid family leave so workers can take time off to care for a sick loved one or newborn.
As Governor, Gretchen has worked 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 has diligently worked to 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 has fought to make sure every Michigander has a path to a good-paying job so they can raise their family.
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. Governer Whitmer fights every day to ensuresure every child, no matter their zip code, can get a great public education.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has led Michigan through the worst global pandemic in over a century with guts, grit, and grace. The Washington Post referred to her as “Governor Everywhere” for her bold action to protect the people of Michigan from the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to Governor Whitmer’s leadership and the collective action of millions of Michiganders, we have saved tens of thousands of lives. Since taking office, Governor Whitmer has worked to build a Michigan that is safer, stronger, and smarter for everyone.
Keeping Michiganders safe
Governor Whtimer has ramped up testing by partnering with businesses and the Michigan National Guard to expand testing locations across the state. She has expanded unemployment from 20 to 26 weeks to support working families that lost a job during the pandemic. The governor is also leading the fight to strengthen the Affordable Care Act so we protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and ban insurance companies from discrimination. The governor’s bipartisan nursing home task force is working to keep seniors safe from a second wave of COVID-19 to make sure they get the care they need.
Making it safer and more affordable to drive
In her first six months in office, Governor Whitmer signed historic bipartisan auto reform legislation into law to guarantee average statewide savings for drivers and add protections against discrimination. In her second State of the State address, Governor Whitmer announced Rebuilding Michigan, a $3.5 billion bonding program that will start rebuilding Michigan’s crumbling state roads without raising taxes. Reforming auto insurance and fixing state roads will keep millions of Michigan drivers safe on the roads.
Improving education and skills training
The governor’s first budget included record funding for Michigan’s K-12 schools, and for the first time ever, moved Michigan towards a weighted school funding formula that is based on science and equity, to provide additional classroom resources for at-risk students and students with special needs. Governor Whitmer also signed bipartisan Michigan Reconnect legislation to provide two years of tuition-free skills training for adults. She also announced Futures for Frontliners to provide our frontline workers and first responders who don’t have a college degree a chance to earn a technical certificate, associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree for free. Improving K-12 education and skills training will build a talented workforce and help Michigan attract more good-paying jobs.