Gretchen Whitmer forms ‘Fight Like Hell PAC’ to back federal candidates
- Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer forms ‘Fight Like Hell PAC’
- PAC aims to raise money for federal candidates
- Whitmer has been floated as a future presidential candidate herself
LANSING — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is using her growing national profile to raise money for federal candidates through a new political action committee.
An aide to the second-term Democrat on Monday filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to form the "Fight Like Hell PAC," echoing a slogan Whitmer used as she fought for legal abortion rights last year during her own successful re-election campaign.
Whitmer is expected to use the organization as a fundraising vehicle to support President Joe Biden's re-election, Democratic efforts to flip the U.S. House and the party's eventual nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
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The governor's PAC is expected to announce more details at a later date. A website listed in federal paperwork is not yet operational.
While pundits have floated Whitmer as a future presidential candidate herself, the governor has said she plans to finish her full term in Michigan, which runs through 2026. She is serving as a co-chair for Biden's re-election campaign.
"She's built quite a personal political brand — not just here, but nationally — that I think she can capitalize on to raise money," said Adrian Hemond, a Michigan-based political consultant with Grassroots Midwest in Lansing.
"If she's able to interject herself into some competitive federal races, that'll only make her look better."
Hemond noted the federal PAC could also allow Whitmer to raise funds for her sister, Liz Whitmer Gereghty, who is running for Congress in New York.
Michigan's U.S. Senate race is expected to be a fierce — and expensive — contest that draws national attention as both parties seek to fill what will be an empty seat given Stabenow's pending departure.
Several Democrats have already declared for the race, including Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, State Board of Education President Pamela Pugh, businessman Nasser Beydoun and former state Rep. Leslie Love.
While several others are considering U.S. Senate campaigns as well, two Republicans have announced so far: Board of Education member Nikki Snyder and businessman Michael Hoover.
Whitmer coasted to re-election last year, defeating Republican challenger Tudor Dixon by more than ten percentage points in what pundits had initially predicted might be a difficult cycle for Democrats.
Several prognosticators are now pegging the Michigan governor as a potential presidential candidate for 2028 — or sooner, should health or some other reason force Biden to drop his re-election campaign.
While 2028 is "so far away," it's "pretty clear that that option is being kept open" for Whitmer, Hemond said. And "if for some reason the Democrats need a pinch hitter (for 2024), I would think that she would be top of the list."
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