Leading by tens of thousands of votes, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer won the race over Republican Bill Schuette by a nearly 10 percentage point lead. Addressing her constituents at MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit, she expressed her gratitude for their support.
“Thank you, Michigan. I am incredibly, incredibly humbled that you put your trust in me to be your next governor. Early results appear to be a record turnout. So this victory belongs to you.” Whitmer said. “We may have all gone to the polls for very different reasons, but today we as Michiganders came out because we all love this state. And because we want a Michigan that works for every one of us.”
All photos by Kate Gowman.
While campaigning, Whitmer focused on her ability to work “on both sides of the aisle.” Some of her goals included expanding Medicaid, boosting school funding and introducing universal pre-kindergarten for children, as well as fixing Michigan’s roads. Perhaps most importantly for Michigan’s LGBTQ community, Whitmer spoke about expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and advocating for services provided by organizations like Planned Parenthood.
Schuette, who conceded just after 10 p.m. in Lansing, said that it was a privilege to have run.
“I just want you to know I was so honored to be the Republican nominee for governor, and I ran to have Michigan be the leader; the leading state in our nation,” said Schuette. “Nothing less will do for Michigan.”
Whitmer went on to thank her family, campaign team, running mate Garland Gilchrist II and mentioned Gov. Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.
“We thank them for their service and I’m eager for a smooth transition. The people need that,” Whitmer said.
She went on to say that she looked forward to joining the ranks of Michigan’s state employees, as well as working with both Democrats and Republicans.
“To the people of this great state, the work ahead will not be easy. There will be tough days and there will be setbacks, but no matter the challenge, I want you to know I will be a governor who works for everyone in this state,” Whitmer said. “For those who voted for me, and those who didn’t. (I’ll be) a governor who brings people together to solve problems, a governor who always puts you, the people, first.”