Gretchen Whitmer was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2000. She is the Democratic vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee and serves on the House Fiscal Agency Governing Committee and the following appropriations subcommittees: community health, economic development, higher education, fiscal oversight, and capital outlay.
After serving in the State House for six years, Gretchen Whitmer won a seat in the State Senate with 70% of the vote in the 2006 general election. The East Lansing-based district is heavily Democratic, and she won the primary with an 85% majority.
Prior to her election to the legislature, Whitmer was a corporate litigator in Lansing specializing in administrative and regulatory law. She practiced administrative law before the Ingham County Circuit Court and the Michigan Public Service Commission. Whitmer has also completed internships with the Office of Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III; Anna Diggs Taylor, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; and the Michigan State AFL-CIO. Prior to attending law school, Whitmer also worked as a policy analyst for the House Democratic Policy Staff.
Whitmer holds a BA in communications from Michigan State University and earned her law degree, magna cum laude, from the Detroit College of Law at MSU.
People for the American Way support
"Progressive" political views
Sen. Whitmer opposed a ban on late-term abortion, a bill which prohibits illegal immigrants from obtaining drivers licenses, and an education budget sharply criticized by teachers’ unions, while supporting renewable energy development and an increase in the minimum wage. She has participated in panels regarding women’s health issues, and while a member of the State House, writes the Associated Press, she attempted to a block “health-care professionals from refusing to provide emergency contraception.” In 2004, she won the “Ray of Light Award” from the gay-rights youth group PRISM for her support for the LGBT community.
According to her answers of a 2004 Project Vote Smart survey, Sen. Whitmer asserts that she is an advocate of affirmative action, expanded anti-discrimination laws, and reforming the criminal justice system to emphasize rehabilitation and prevention over incarceration. Moreover, she is an opponent of vouchers, abstinence-only education, and an attempt to “restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman.”