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Gubernatorial Candidate Gretchen Whitmer

Gretchen WhitmerGretchen was first elected to the State Senate in March 2006 after serving as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 2000 to 2006. In 2010 her Democratic colleagues unanimously chose Whitmer to be the Senate Democratic Leader, making her the first woman to lead a party caucus in the Senate.

Whitmer has a record of fighting for Michigan and is known for her longtime efforts in leading the fight for women’s access to reproductive health care, paid family leave, equal pay, and for her work pushing back some of the most egregious anti-women bills to come out of the Capitol.

As Senate Democratic Leader, Whitmer was pivotal in brokering the deal that expanded health care to 630,000 people through Healthy Michigan, which also increased access to preventative care like cancer screenings and prenatal care to rural and low income women. And Whitmer believes that working men and women deserve a raise, which is why she helped pass a minimum wage increase with a cost-of-living adjustment. Furthermore, Gretchen was the caretaker for her mother, when she was dying of brain cancer – all while giving birth to and caring for her first daughter. That’s one of many reasons Whitmer fought for paid family leave so workers can take time off to care for a sick loved one or new baby and why she took a stand for equal pay for equal work.

Whitmer earned her bachelor’s and law degrees from Michigan State University in 1993 and 1998, respectively. Her professional experience includes working as Ingham County Prosecutor and a corporate litigator for the law firm for Dickinson Wright. She currently lives in East Lansing with her husband Marc Mallory and their five children.