Gretchen Whitmer: "We now have the opportunity to reject the politics of division, exclusion and ser

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - Former Michigan legislative leader Gretchen Whitmer wins Democratic primary for governor, besting two other candidates.

In her victory speech, Whitmer thanked her supporters and her family and everyone who voted for her, along with her Democratic opponents in the race. "I appreciate your ideas. I appreciate your spirit," she said.."And to those who supported Shri, Abdul, or Bill in this race: Join us! You are welcome here. This is a big tent and we want you to come in."

Democratic Governors Association Chair Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Vice Chair Gov. Gina Raimondo (D-RI) released the following statements on Gretchen Whitmer winning the Democratic nomination for Governor of Michigan:

“Congratulations to Gretchen Whitmer on winning the Democratic nomination for governor in Michigan,” said Democratic Governors Association Chair Gov. Jay Inslee. “Michigan is one of the DGA’s top targets for pickup this cycle, and Gretchen is a terrific candidate. Gretchen Whitmer knows how to get things done to make a difference in people’s lives. She worked across the aisle to help expand Medicaid coverage to more than 680,000 Michiganders, and has concrete plans to fix Michigan’s roads and improve its education system. She’s the right person to bring change to Michigan this November.”

“Gretchen Whitmer will work every day to make sure Michiganders lives improve, and that’s why she’s going to be a great governor,” said Democratic Governors Association Vice Chair Gina Raimondo. “She’s relentless when it comes to finding a solution. Whether it’s fixing Michigan’s roads and bridges, fighting for universal preschool and debt-free community college, or cleaning up Michigan’s drinking water, Gretchen will get it done. Gretchen Whitmer is one of the great Democratic female candidates who will help make 2018 the year of the woman governor.”

She also said that come November, she hopes to throw a statewide retirement party for Bill Schuette.

She ended her speech with this: "Michigan was a place people came to for opportunity. To educate their children. For good paying jobs that supported their families. Where we valued our neighbors and our communities. Those are Michigan values. It is time for us to look to the future. We need to ensure that Michigan is a place where our children and grandchildren can grow and thrive. Because every child has potential and value – but it is up to us to make sure they all have opportunity."

Gretchen Whitmer grew up in Michigan.

She says she had a democrat for a mother and a republican for a father.

She is a mom, a former legislator, and a prosecutor. In 2016 she was the Ingham County Prosecutor and under her guidance she established a Domestic Violence Unit, sped up the rehab time for non-violent first-time offenders and asked the MSP to take a good look into the integrity of the county's evidence room.

She loves the water and the Great Lakes. She likes to fish and climb the dunes. She currently lives in East Lansing with her family.

A highlight of Gretchen's time as Senate Democratic Leader was that she negotiated with Republicans to expand Medicaid in Michigan. Her campaign has said that she got Medicaid expanded to more than $680,000 Michigan residents. She also worked with Republicans to raise the minimum wage in Michigan, which was also successful.

Whitmer has spoken out and shared her story about surviving sexual assault. She was speaking against a bill that limited women's access to health care, a bill proposed by the GOP, when she told her story on the Senate Floor.

Her focuses will be on: cleaning up Michigan's drinking water, improving education and skills training, creating more good-paying jobs, fixing the "damn" roads, protecting and expanding women's reproductive rights and making state government more open, transparent and accountable.

She has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood of Michigan, Michigan Association for Justice, the United Auto Workers, the Michigan Education Association, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and Senator Curtis Hertel of East Lansing. Click here for more: more endorsements

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan sent out this note of congratulations after the primaries: 
"We are thrilled for Gretchen Whitmer, and for the women, children, and families in Michigan who now have a chance to put a true champion of the people in office in November.
We are proud to have supported former State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer and dozens of other choice champions around the state. Now, more than ever, it is vital to the future of our state that we elect people who will protect women’s ability to make their own health care decisions and access to reproductive health care, including abortion, in Michigan. 

Women’s rights are under attack like never before. We know that the Trump administration will continue to chip away at our right to basic health care, and that Bill Schuette will be eager to help. Michiganders deserve a governor who will go to bat for them every day, not four more years of Bill Schuette using his office to launch attacks on birth control, reproductive health care and basic human rights. 
We’ll be working hard every day from now until November to elect Gretchen Whitmer. Whether it’s fighting for access to affordable health care, ensuring we have clean, drinkable water or fixing the roads, we know Gretchen is the best choice for Governor, and the only person who will protect our rights." Lori Carpentier, President & CEO of PPAM

Here is a link to her website: https://www.gretchenwhitmer.com/