(Crystal A. Proxmire, March 28, 2017)
Pontiac, MI – Democrat Gretchen Whitmer began campaigning for Governor over a year and a half before the Nov. 6, 2018 election. She spent Tuesday evening visiting a community she remembers well from her youth, speaking in the building that is named in honor of her Grandfather – The Whitmer Resource Center in Pontiac.
Dana Whitmer was an educator who served as Superintendent of Pontiac Schools for nearly 25 years, including the tumultuous time of desegregation. Her grandmother was known to neighbors as “the Flower Lady,” because of her beautiful yard and friendly demeanor. She was also a teacher in Pontiac Schools.
Whitmer grew up in Lansing but visited Pontiac often. She has served in the Michigan Senate, including as the Democratic Leader. She served in the Senate from 2000-2016 before being term-limited out of office. She then became Ingham County Prosecutor. Now she is campaigning full time.
“I thought I was done, that I done my public service. But very quickly I learned about myself that I’ve got no patience for poor management. I’ve got no patience to play games with problems instead of solving them. I have zero patience for people who are trying to lower our expectations and give us false choices. Michigan has a proud history of forging bold territory, of leading the nation,” she said.
She talked about priorities such as education, healthcare and infrastructure. Water quality was also an issue, with Whitmer citing the Flint water crisis as both an environmental/health problem and a social injustice. “Majority minority communities are the ones that have been taken over and not allowed to govern themselves,” she said, referring to emergency financial management imposed by the state on places like Flint and Pontiac.
And as a resource, water is an issue for Whitmer. “We have had such an abundance so we haven’t had to think about conserving water,” she said. “We have amazing Universities in this state, research facilities. For us to be such an outlier, in a bad way, we need to fix that… We’re letting people profitize our great resource here.”
Over 100 people attended the talk which was hosted by the Pontiac Democratic Club. Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman introduced Whitmer, saying “I have a strong affinity for strong women who do strong things.”
According to The Detroit Free Press, Democrats William Cobbs and Kentiel White are also running. And on the Republican side there is Jim Hines. Dwain Reynolds is running on the Green Party ticket and Independent Todd Schleiger has also declared. There are more potential candidates as well. Check out their article at http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/25/least-six-candidates-running-michigan-governor/97045514/ for more.