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Whitmer, Democrats make reelection pitch at endorsement convention

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Screenshot courtesy of the Michigan Democratic Party
Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks during the 2022 State Endorsement Convention of the Michigan Democratic Party Saturday, April 9, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan.

Michigan Democrats gathered in Detroit this weekend to make their election pitch to party members and endorse candidates.

In a speech Saturday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer highlighted her recent lawsuit to invalidate the state’s dormant abortion ban if the landmark Roe v. Wade decision is overturned.

She pledged to "fight like hell” regardless of what the Supreme Court does.

“Right now, I am the last line of defense against efforts to pull our state backwards by restricting the right to choose and weakening our democracy. I will use that veto pen every time,” Whitmer said.

Saturday’s convention also marked the governor’s first public appearance since a jury acquitted two men accused of a plot to kidnap her and deadlocked on charges against two others.

“Tough times call for tough people,” Whitmer said, referencing Friday’s verdict. “There are some weeks when we wake up and read the headlines and feel like a gut punch. We want to work together and focus on the issues that really make a difference in peoples’ lives right now.”

Saturday’s convention was otherwise uneventful as none of the races where candidates sought endorsement were contested.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Attorney General Dana Nessel and a handful of other incumbents secured the official endorsement in their reelection campaigns. Down ballot races included Michigan Supreme Court, Board of Education, Michigan State University Board of Trustees, University of Michigan Board of Regents, and Wayne State Board of Governors.

State Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden (D-Southfield) is running alongside incumbent Justice Richard Bernstein. She snuck a pregnancy announcement into her speech.

“We are going to make sure liberty and justice for all means something to every person in Michigan. Because I want Michigan to be a great place where justice is accessible to all. For your children, for your grandchildren and also for baby Bolden to grow up in,” Bolden said.

If elected, she would be the first Black woman to serve on the court.

“You know what they’re going to say right? Right? She’s too young. She’s too Black. She’s too pregnant. And what are we going to say back? We’re going to say there’s no better time to make history like the present,” Bolden said while rallying the crowd.

The Michigan GOP’s endorsement convention takes place on April 23rd.

County conventions for the GOP take place Monday.

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