Get To Know Gretchen Whitmer

August 1, 2020

Gretchen Whitmer

Donald Trump didn’t call Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer by name when he derogatorily called her “that woman from Michigan” in response to her attempt to negotiate for lifesaving medical equipment during the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. But his comment still led to Whitmer, who was elected 

in 2018 after winning the general election by 83 percent, gaining plenty of public attention. 

As governor, Whitmer — who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2000 (and reelected in 2002 and 2004) has:

  • Made it her mission to “fix the damn roads.”  State lawmakers rejected Whitmer’s initial plans to fix Michigan’s infrastructure problems, but in January of 2020, Whitmer promised to raise more than $3 million for the cause by issuing new state bonds. 
  • Held President Trump accountable for his administration’s lack of leadership, and actively damaging remarks, during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s clear that the president is more focused on his chances in the 2020 election than on protecting families from a virus that has killed more than 150,000 Americans,” Whitmer said on July 30, after Trump suggested delaying the general election in a tweet. ” If we could hold an election in 1864 in the midst of a Civil War threatening to tear our country apart, we can and will hold one in 2020. It’s time for the president to get his priorities straight and work with Congress on a bipartisan recovery package that protects our families, frontline workers, and small business owners.” 
  • Focused on ensuring that all Michigan residents have access to affordable healthcare. In addition, she signed an executive order in July that mandated that health workers undergo unconscious bias training before they can get their medical license or register to practice medicine after the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected people of color. 
  • Been outspoken about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and has supported cleaning up the water in her state and protecting the Great Lakes. In March, she issued an executive order that required public water suppliers to restore service to all occupied homes without water. 

“I know she’s been vetted,” former Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard told The Detroit News on July 29. “There’s got to be six or seven others in that category.” When asked about the V.P. spot in April, Whitmer told CNN: “I’ll be very frank with you, the job I want is the one that I have. I worked for two years to become the governor of the state of Michigan, and while it’s been challenging and there have been some tough days, there’s no place I’d rather be than right here in my home state, making decisions that are saving people’s lives. It’s the honor of my lifetime to be here.”