Whitmer headlines progressive event in GR


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer was among several Democrats running for office who spoke to supporters at a Grand Rapids park Tuesday evening.

Whitmer will face Republican Bill Schuette and Libertarian Bill Gelineau in the general election.

“I’m very eager to have this debate,” Whitmer said when asked by 24 Hour News 8 how the race is shaping up so far. “Bill Schuette and I couldn’t be more different on everything from demeanor and philosophy of government to positions on substantive issues. He has staked out some very extreme positions (like) undoing Medicaid expansion, which I worked so hard to extend to 680,000 people in our state. He doesn’t believe women should have rights of autonomy over our bodies. I do.”

She wrapped up the free Progressives in the Park event, sponsored by the One Michigan Alliance, at Wilcox Park. The event, which had a carnival-like atmosphere, aimed to provide information about the work being done on progressive causes.

Also among the speakers were Dana Nessel, who is running for state attorney general, and secretary of state candidate Jocelyn Benson. Two state representatives from Grand Rapids — Winnie Brinks, who’s running for state Senate, and David LaGrand, who’s up for re-election — were also there.

Democrats are optimistic about their chances on the Nov. 6 general election ticket:

“I think this is just a great opportunity this year for Democrats and obviously particularly for people who take their progressive views seriously,” U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, told 24 Hour News 8 at the event. “Who would’ve imagined just a few years back when everybody was declaring the death of the Democratic Party and the death of progressive candidates that we’d be in a position where we’re competing in 60 or 70 congressional seats to win them back, have a realistic the chance of getting back the state House and are likely, if not sort of a tossup, to win back the governorship.”

You can hear from Whitmer and Nessel on the Aug. 19 episode of “To The Point,” which airs at 10 a.m. on WOOD TV8.

**Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Nessel’s last name as Nessell. We regret the error.

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