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Gretchen Whitmer: Michigan needs a get-it-done governor

November 7: Overnight, it’s a new Michigan. Women sweep to power in change election.​
November 6: Gretchen Whitmer projected winner in Michigan governor race

Over the course of this campaign, I’ve travelled to all 83 of Michigan’s counties and had thousands of conversations with Michiganders who are tired of the divisive rhetoric in Lansing and Washington, and just want a governor who can put partisanship aside and focus on getting things done.

Three governor candidates make final pitch

Read the closing arguments of the other two candidates nominated by their parties for Michigan governor in 2018:

Bill Schuette: I will move Michigan forward with jobs and bigger paychecks

Bill Gelineau: Michigan has a choice. Why not a Libertarian?

I’m ready to get to work on day one so we can solve problems people are facing right now, like making health care more affordable, fixing the damn roads, cleaning up our drinking water, improving education and skills training, and repealing the retirement tax.

As governor, I’m ready to make room for everyone who wants to solve problems and build a better Michigan for everyone. I’m proud to have the endorsement of not only Democrats, but Republican and independent leaders from the last three Republican administrations, including a former chair of the Michigan Republican Party and the head of Bill Schuette’s own transition team, because they know I can get things done.

I’m also proud to have the support of the Detroit Regional Chamber – which hasn’t endorsed a Democrat for Governor since 1990 – because they know I have real plans to attract talent to our state and ensure that Michigan businesses thrive. As governor, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and work side-by-side with everyone who wants to make sure every Michigander can build a life for themselves right here.

Everyone in our state deserves access to quality, affordable health care. That’s why as Senate Democratic Leader, I worked across the aisle to expand Medicaid to more than 680,000 Michiganders. I’m proud of the bipartisan work we did and, as governor, I’m ready to get to work to make sure more people have access to quality, affordable health care.

My opponent Bill Schuette filed nine lawsuits as Attorney General trying to gut the Affordable Care Act and rip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. If we’re going to get to work expanding health care to everyone in Michigan, we can’t let Bill Schuette anywhere near the governor’s office.

Making sure everyone in Michigan can thrive starts with fixing our education system. Right now, our public education system is at the back of the pack when it comes to literacy. I believe every child has a birthright to a great public education.

I have a plan to get every Michigander on a path to a high wage skill by implementing universal pre-k, tripling the number of literacy coaches in our schools, and raising teacher pay and treating them with the respect they deserve for preparing our kids.

I’ll create the MI Opportunity Scholarship, a two-year debt-free plan that can be used at community colleges, skills training programs, or to bring down the cost of a four-year degree. I’m ready to get to work making sure everyone can get a great job that pays them well so they can raise their family up and retire with dignity here, whether college is right for them or not.

We’ve also got to make sure everyone can get to their job safely. We’re already paying a road tax when people across the state can’t drive to work or drop their kids at school without blowing a tire or cracking a windshield. Right now, the average Michigander pays $540 a year on car repairs. It’s time to start fixing our roads instead of fixing our cars.

That means fixing them the right way the first time, with high-quality materials and mix so we get the job done right. I’ve got a real plan to make a bold $3 billion investment in the rebuild Michigan infrastructure bank to make sure that in Michigan, the state that put the world on wheels, everyone can get to their destination safely.

Rebuilding Michigan’s infrastructure doesn’t mean just fixing the damn roads. Every Michigander deserves clean, safe drinking water, and right now, too many families across the state can’t turn on the tap and bathe their kids or give them a glass of water at the dinner table. When we dig up our roads, we’re going to replace the lead service lines underneath to ensure every community in Michigan can trust their water.

We’re also going to reinstate bottled water to Flint residents and clean up PFAS contamination sites across the state. I’m ready to fight every day to make sure that in Michigan, the state that’s home to 21 percent of the world’s fresh water, everyone can drink the water coming out of their tap.

If you’re ready for a governor who can get things done that will actually make a difference in your life right now, please cast your vote for me on November 6th. Let’s get it done.

Bridge welcomes guest columns from a diverse range of people on issues relating to Michigan and its future. The views and assertions of these writers do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan. Bridge does not endorse any individual guest commentary submission. If you are interested in submitting a guest commentary, please contact Ron French. Click here for details and submission guidelines.

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