Gov. Whitmer reflects on first term, gears up for next 4 years

"I want to make sure we’re building a Michigan that’s working for our kids that can be long-term successful and that’s 100% of my focus.”
Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 7:03 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist are ready to turn the past on their first four years in office.

“We’ve had a lot of challenges the last four years,” Whitmer said.

Challenges like the pandemic and the failed plot to kidnap her.

“It’s been hard,” Whitmer said. “The threats have made a tough job that more challenging.”

The kidnapping plot was hatched by people unhappy with Whitmer’s pandemic policies, but when it came to deciding if she should stay in office, the answer came at the ballot box.

“When you look at the outcome of this last election, the public rejected the divisive language, the violent rhetoric, the efforts to undermine our democratic institutions, the conspiracy theories, election deniers,” Whitmer said. “The public rejected that.”

She said moving forward, it’s important to work on long-term solutions. The next Michigan Legislature has Democratic officials in control of the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Governor’s Office - something that has only happened four times in the last 130 years.

“We are very sober about the fact it’s only a two-seat majority in both the House and the Senate,” Whitmer said. “So I’ve told everybody I don’t want to hear any language about mandate.”

Whitmer said her administration will focus on fixing roads, educating the children and upscaling the state’s workforce. Gilchrist said he’s ready to hit the ground running with his own to-do list.

The two said steering Michigan toward an electric vehicle economy is on their agenda and getting General Motors to invest big in Michigan was a big part of it.

Background: General Motors to invest over $7 billion in Michigan manufacturing sites

“Landing that $7 billion investment from General Motors - the biggest in company history - was not always going to be in Michigan,” Whitmer said. “We were competing with other states, and they were trying to lure GM to make this investment there. We won because we worked together.”

She said she plans to keep the team working together for the next four years, despite the Washington rumors.

“I’m not running for president in 2024. I can tell you that unequivocally,” Whitmer said. “I’ve lived here my whole life, I want to make sure we’re building a Michigan that’s working for our kids that can be long-term successful and that’s 100% of my focus.”

Whitmer will be sworn in for her second term Sunday morning.

Read: Governor Gretchen Whitmer to officially begin second term on Sunday

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