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Gretchen Whitmer on why she jumped in now to run for governor in 2018

Gretchen Whitmer is the first to officially enter the 2018 race for governor in Michigan
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Gretchen Whitmer is the first to officially enter the 2018 race for governor in Michigan

Our conversation with Gretchen Whitmer. She's the first candidate to announce a run for governor in 2018.

The 2017 year is just a few days old, and we're already looking ahead to 2018.

In Michigan, that will mean a new governor to replace term-limited Rick Snyder.

On Tuesday, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer became the first candidate to step forward into the ring. The former Senate minority leader filed the paperwork with the Secretary of State which allows her to set up a committee to run for governor.

Whitmer joined Stateside to talk about why she is running, what issues she plans to tackle and why now is the right time.


Whitmer gave some serious consideration to running for governor in 2014 but ultimately decided not to. She was asked, what changed?

"We, now more than ever, need a leader who isn't afraid to level with the people of this state," said Whitmer. "Who's willing to bring us together, work toward bold solutions that really address the issues that so many of us are concerned about and confronting."

Another factor that she cited for not running before was that it wasn't a good time for her family. Now, she says, her daughters are teenagers and it's a "good time to jump in" to the race.

She pointed out some colossal government failures like the Flint water crisis, as well as the opioid epidemic, and the skills and income gaps that exist in Michigan as some of her top priorities.  

Listen to the full interview above to hear more about her decision to run, how she plans to help right the Democratic ship, and what sets her apart from other potential 2018 gubernatorial candidates.

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