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gretchen whitmer

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Democrats running for governor were busy today walking in parades, handing out candy to children, while talking to their parents about voting in next month’s primary.

With one month to go in the campaign before the August primary, candidate Gretchen Whitmer says it’s “all hands on deck.”

“We’re on the doors. We’re on the phones. I’m attending events across Michigan at senior centers or parades,” Whitmer said as she waited for the start of Wyandotte’s 4th of July parade, her second parade of the morning. 

Michigan Truth Squad: Gretchen Whitmer depicts Michigan teachers in poverty

Jun 26, 2018
Gretchen Whitmer at a Democratic gubernatorial debate
Twitter

In her bid to become Democratic nominee for Michigan governor, former state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer has made improving education and better supporting classroom teachers a campaign centerpiece. Whitmer, for instance, released a plan that would make the first two years of college debt-free, and she would spend more state money to phase in universal preschool.

Michigan Democratic candidates at the podium
Mike Buck / WOOD TV 8

 

The three top Democratic candidates for Michigan governor debated last night on WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.

Shri Thanedar, Gretchen Whitmer, and Dr. Abdul El-Sayed had one hour to make their case to voters. One candidate presented himself as an immigrant success story, another as the son of immigrants, and the third as the only one with experience in governing.

Adrian Hemond is a Democratic political strategist with Grassroots Midwest. He sat down with Stateside to discuss what stood out at last night's debate. 

Michigan Democratic candidates at the podium
Mike Buck / WOOD TV 8

Immigration and infrastructure were a couple of the big themes as Michigan’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates debated one another in Grand Rapids last night.

Gretchen Whitmer, Shri Thanedar and Abdul El Sayed share the stage.

Thanedar, the only candidate born outside the U.S, says there is a lot of discrimination against immigrants in Michigan.

“I see that discrimination because I’m an immigrant and I see the discrimination because of the color of my skin. And thousands of Michiganders experience that,” Thanedar said.

creative commons

"I believe every Michigan kid has a birthright to a great public education," says Democratic candidate for governor Gretchen Whitmer, unveiling her campaign's plan for education on Friday. 

Whitmer says Michigan used to have one of the best public education systems in the country; now it's in the bottom ten. She says K - 12 schools have to  get more money, so first and foremost, the state needs to stop "stealing" money from the School Aid Fund.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Updated on 6/7/18 at 11:10 am.

On the day Michigan's state legislatue moved to repeal the state's prevailing wage law, one Democrat running for governor was focused on health care.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

The race to replace Governor Rick Snyder is on.

Here on Mackinac Island this week, we learned from a gubernatorial debate: That Democrat Gretchen Whitmer is a mom. She’ll “Fix the Damn Roads.” And she has a “backbone of titanium.” Just ask her.

Republican Pat Colbeck has Michigan’s roads disaster all figured out. He’d order “a complete review” of the state’s road-building process and upgrade them to higher standards – all without raising taxes. Right.

Democrat Abdul El-Sayed would dismantle the “Betsy DeVos agenda” for Michigan’s public schools and “end this profit motive in our schools.” And every student coming from a household making $150,000 or less should graduate from college debt-free. How and who’s paying the tab he didn’t say.

Michigan Truth Squad: Koch brothers group attacks Gretchen Whitmer’s tax votes

May 31, 2018
Gretchen Whitmer
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Americans For Prosperity, a national conservative advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers, has bought an online-only ad targeting Gretchen Whitmer’s Michigan gubernatorial campaign, claiming she has supported tax increases that hurt the state.

Turns out, Whitmer, a leading Democratic candidate, doesn’t seem to mind.

Rick Pluta / MPRN

The four Republicans and three Democrats running for governor appeared on a stage together for the first time today.

The biggest flashpoint came when Republican state Senator Patrick Colbeck said one of the Democrats has connections to Muslim terrorist groups. Abdul El-Sayed fired back that other Republicans should join him in condemning the allegation.

Bridge Magazine

State officials say a top Democratic candidate for governor is eligible to run.

Abdul El-Sayed was registered to vote in New York state from 2012 until 2015. Michigan’s Constitution requires candidates for governor to be a registered voter in Michigan for at least four years prior to taking office.

But despite that, the state Bureau of Elections says El-Sayed, the former Detroit health department director, is still eligible to run for governor.

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Former state Senate Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer filed petition signatures today to get her name on the August primary ballot as a candidate for governor.

Whitmer is running on her experience as a legislator in the House and Senate. She also says she’s not happy with the cutthroat turn political campaigns in both parties have taken.

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Election season in Michigan is heating up, even if the weather isn’t. With four months before the August primaries, and a state Democratic convention this weekend, Stateside decided it was a good time to check in with the 2018 gubernatorial candidates.

Whitmer's plan to rebuild Michigan

Apr 4, 2018
profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Four years ago, I went to see Mark Schauer, then the Democratic nominee for governor. He had rightly criticized the Republicans for letting the roads fall apart, and vowed to fix them.

But when I asked how he was going to get the money for that, he really didn’t have an answer. My guess was that he didn’t want to risk losing votes by saying he was going to raise taxes. I left wondering if he deserved to win.

Virginia Gordan / Michigan Radio

Appearing today in an automotive repair shop in Southfield on the first stop of her "Fix the Damn Roads Tour," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her strategic plan for rebuilding the state's infrastructure.

Whitmer called for a bold investment in a state infrastucture bank to fix Michigan's crumbling roads, bridges and water systems.

Her plan also would build a new Soo Lock and connect more Michiganders to high-speed broadband internet.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This year, TV ad spending is spiking early among candidates running for Michigan governor.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network reports $1.7 million has been spent on TV ads to promote candidates in Michigan’s governor’s race. 

The network’s Craig Mauger says most of that spending was by Democrat Shri Thanedar, who’s poured $1.2 million into TV campaign ads since the January 1.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is throwing his support behind Democrat Gretchen Whitmer for governor.

Duggan says the former Lansing-area state senator will be an important “partner” for the city in Lansing. He pledged to work every day “for the next eight months” to drum up support for Whitmer, and boost voter turnout in Detroit.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The four Democrats vying become Michigan’s next governor talked public education and public sector jobs at a union-sponsored town hall in Detroit Tuesday night.

Gretchen Whitmer, Abdul El-Sayed, Shri Thanedar, and Bill Cobbs largely agreed on the issues.

All agreed that teachers are underpaid, under-valued, and that arming them is not the answer to school shootings.

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer has forced her campaign manager to resign after learning he engaged in past "inappropriate behavior" in the workplace. Keenan Pontoni joined Whitmer's campaign in August, replacing a previous campaign manager.

In a short statement yesterday, Whitmer said she received a credible report Wednesday that a number of years ago, Pontoni had "engaged in inappropriate behavior with people in the workplace." She did not elaborate.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

As Michigan gets ready to vote for governor in November, Bridge Magazine is also preparing. They’re gearing up for the Truth Squad to keep candidates accountable.

John Bebow, president of the Center for Michigan, which publishes Bridge Magazine, joined Stateside to discuss what’s ahead for the journalism outfit.

Listen above for the entire conversation.

These days, the place to go for solid in-depth print reporting on what’s happening in this state is not a newspaper, but Bridge, the online magazine.

Bridge, a publication of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Michigan, has hired many of the state’s best journalists to do deep-dive, penetrating reporting about conditions in this state.

Today, they have a blockbuster story that indicates that Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and a number of union leaders are trying to recruit another Democratic candidate for governor.

When it comes to taking a stand, timing matters

Dec 14, 2017
gretchen whitmer
Michigan Senate Democrats

For more than a year, the sexual assault scandal at Michigan State University has been simmering in the background, a ticking time bomb that was certain to explode with devastating consequences for the university.

That this would have a political dimension was also certain.

How do you fix the mess at MSU?

Dec 12, 2017
Larry Nassar at a hearing in Michigan in 2017
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Last week I talked about the sexual assault scandal involving sport doctor Larry Nassar at Michigan State University and its possible effect on next year’s campaign for governor. 

There is, to put it mildly, a lot going on these days, with the biggest story being the ever-mushrooming national sexual harassment scandal.

But there is another sex scandal of a different sort that is already a big deal and which seems almost certain to become much bigger and take on many more dimensions. I’m speaking about the events at Michigan State University, involving former sports medicine Dr. Larry Nassar, who has been credibly accused of sexually abusing at least 125 women and girls.

We are now a year away from Election 2018. It’s the time when the concept of who a candidate might be is starting to create the reality of who that candidate will be.

We are in the period of time when candidates running for office in 2018 are trying to solidify their status as the front-runner, figuring out who’s got that all important political momentum.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s gubernatorial election is still 14 months away, but the field of candidates is growing quickly.

A whopping 20 people have filed with the Secretary of State so far: six Republicans, seven Democrats and seven third-party candidates. And that number is expected to grow before the April 2018 filing deadline.

Schuette begins a campaign he's been running for months

Sep 13, 2017
Bill Schuette
Bill Schuette / Facebook.com

Attorney General Bill Schuette, who actually has been running for governor forever, made it official yesterday, at a barbecue in his hometown of Midland. It wasn’t exactly a grass-roots rally; those who went were supposed to donate a minimum of $50 to the campaign.

If you were willing to give $500, you could be designated a “grill master,” and for a thousand dollars, an “on duty” donor. That may have been a slight error in branding; I think being grill master sounds better. But Schuette hasn’t made many errors in this campaign – though, as he himself noted, his party faces an uphill battle.

Bill Schuette speaks to a crowd of supporters.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“Our next governor, Bill Schuette,” Cynthia Schuette introduced her husband to an enthusiastic hometown crowd in Midland on Tuesday.

Michigan’s attorney general’s interest in the state’s top job has not been a secret. 

In his speech, Schuette laid out his priorities.

Former Senate minority leader Gretchen Whitmer was just one of a number of Democrats at Detroit's annual Labor Day parade.
Whitmer for Governor

Detroit’s annual Labor Day parade attracted the usual mix of union members, activists and political candidates this year.

Those candidates included three of the Democrats running for governor.

Former state Senate minority leader Gretchen Whitmer has lined up most of the big labor support statewide. She met and marched with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, among others.

After this week, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of what the 2018 governor’s race will look like in Michigan.

In just a little more than a year, Republicans and Democrats in Michigan will choose their candidates for governor in the August primary. Governor Rick Snyder is term-limited so, it’s a wide open field.

Do looks matter in politics?

Jun 6, 2017
Jack Lessenbery
Michigan Radio

On June 1st, I talked about Gretchen Whitmer, the former state Senate minority leader and now the leading candidate for next year’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

During an interview during last week’s Mackinac Policy Conference, Whitmer told me that when you look at all the candidates, “I’m the one that looks most like John Engler.”

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