Gretchen Whitmer

  • Governor
  • Michigan
Image of Gretchen Whitmer.

A fighter for Michigan’s working families

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is a lifelong Michigander and champion for working families. A product of East Lansing and Grand Rapids public schools, Whitmer twice graduated from Michigan State University, earning both her undergraduate and law degree in her home state. She began her career as an attorney in private practice, arguing cases in Circuit Court and before the Michigan Public Service Commission. She was first elected to the state House in 2000 to fight for working families. Whitmer’s daughters were born when she was serving in the Legislature, and like so many working mothers, she had to get creative in a workplace not set up with their needs in mind — including pumping breast milk in a copy room because there was no other place in the Capitol. She quickly established a reputation as a problem solver who put her constituents first and was voted by her peers as the most effective Democrat in the House. Whitmer was elected to the Michigan Senate in 2006 and made state history in 2010 as the first woman to lead a party caucus in the Senate. After being term-limited out of office, she taught a course in gender and law at her alma mater, Michigan State, focused on women’s legal rights and how much work is yet to be done to advance them. In 2016, she served as the Ingham County prosecutor. During her tenure, she set up a domestic violence unit to coordinate domestic and sexual violence cases within one group of dedicated professionals to advocate for survivors. In 2018 she was elected governor, with the support of the EMILY’s List community. Gov. Whitmer and her husband Marc live in Lansing with her two daughters, Sherry and Sydney. Her three stepsons, Alex, Mason, and Winston all live in Michigan as well.

A courageous leader in a time of crisis

Gov. Whitmer has the courage and experience to lead Michigan through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, and she has become one of America’s most visible political leaders during this unprecedented time. Gov. Whitmer responded swiftly to save lives with policies informed by science, not politics, and to help families facing the economic impact. She has worked tirelessly on acquiring PPE, testing, relief efforts, supporting students and families, and now on vaccine distribution. When data revealed the stark racial inequities in COVID-19’s impact on Black Michiganders because of unequal economic and health care treatment and racism, she declared racism a public health crisis, ordered implicit bias training for all state employees, and created a state advisory council to focus on issues affecting Black people in Michigan. Gov. Whitmer has put together the most diverse cabinet in Michigan’s history and has signed executive directives to clean up drinking water, end discrimination in state government based on sexual orientation and gender identity, secure equal pay for equal work, and expand opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses. Now, Gov. Whitmer is ready to accomplish more than ever before. 

A critical governorship we helped defend

Gov. Whitmer is a fierce champion for Michiganders, and her strong, unwavering leadership has served as a powerful example of the how much we can accomplish together when an experienced, principled, and inclusive Democratic pro-choice woman leads the way forward. With so much at stake in this swing state and across the country, we showed Gov. Whitmer the full support of the EMILY’s List community and helped reelect this champion for Michigan working families.