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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer visiting West Michigan

Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan’s gubernatorial candidates are travelling the state seeking support. With the election more than a year away democrat Gretchen Whitmer is visiting Allegan and Grand Rapids Saturday. WGVU spoke with Whitmer about her message.

“My dad was a Miliken republican and my mother was a Frank Kelly democrat.” Gretchen Whitmer grew up in Grand Rapids and recalls how those political philosophies influenced her political ideology today. “I was raised in a household where the lesson always was public service is about the public. You have to serve with integrity and always recognize it’s a privilege to hold office and the people of this state should always come first.”

Whitmer served in the Michigan House of Representatives for six years where she was the top democrat serving on the state budget. She went on to serve in the state Senate for eight years where over the last four years she was minority leader.

“In that space I was able to work with the governor on some important issues like expanding the Affordable Care Act here in Michigan. And I also was the voice of opposition when governors of both parties tried to take money out of our schools.”

The East Lansing democrat says Michigan deserves better from its leaders. Whitmer is passionate about education and she says the state must make college affordable ensuring a job creating economy.

Speaking schedule:

What: Rising up! - A Celebration

Where: Mahan Park, 135 Brady St., Allegan

When: Whitmer is scheduled to speak at 10 a.m.

What: Women Organize Michigan Summit

Where: Eberhard Center - GVSU, 301 Fulton St. W, Grand Rapids

When: Whitmer is scheduled to speak at noon.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.