LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The top Democrat in the Michigan Senate says she won't run for governor in 2014.
Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing emailed supporters Wednesday with the announcement. She says she can't run a winning gubernatorial campaign while being the kind of mom she wants to be to her 9- and 10-year-old daughters.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has hinted at plans to run for re-election but hasn't made a formal announcement.
The 41-year-old Whitmer says she'll focus on her job in the Senate and work to help Democrats win control of the GOP-led Legislature in 2014.
Whitmer also considered running for state attorney general in 2010 before deciding against it.
Because Republicans control all of the state government, Whitmer is one of the most visible Democrats in Lansing.
Whitmer released this statement on Wednesday --
Over the past several months, I've heard from so many of you that have asked me about my own plans for 2014 and whether or not I’m going to run for Governor. I’ll be honest with you, it’s been truly humbling to hear your support and encouragement and the idea of running for Governor is certainly not a decision I take lightly.
I’m a fighter, and I’ve been so proud to stand right by so many of you as we’ve spoken out against this administration’s misguided priorities, but to take on Governor Snyder and his billionaire backers in an election will require an effort unlike anything we’ve ever seen in Michigan.
It’s a fight that I know we can win, but the question I've had to ask myself over the past several months is whether I can be the one to lead it.
I've said all along that I wouldn't be making this decision alone, but rather would be doing it along with my family, and in particular, what's best for my 2 girls. They're 9 and 10 years old now, and without question, being their Mom is the single most important thing in the world to me.
So, while making this decision is undeniably difficult, knowing why I'm making it also makes it very easy. To be the kind of Mom I want to be for my girls simply does not allow me to make the kind of commitment necessary to run a successful campaign for Governor at this point in their lives. So, as much as I relish the challenge, as much as I want to see a change in the Governor's office and as truly honored as I am that so many of you believe in what I'm fighting for, I will not be running for Governor in 2014.
Now, let me be clear - Just because you're not going to see my name on the ballot for Governor in 2014 doesn't mean I'm going anywhere. I'll be spending the next 2 years in my role as Senate Democratic Leader continuing to fight for the things that will get Michigan and our families back on track. We're going to keep speaking out together, keep challenging the damaging agenda of this administration together and keep working to create the policies that will make Michigan great together.
I'll also be working to identify and support the very best candidates for our efforts in 2014, especially supporting the next generation of strong female leaders that we so desperately need to bring to the Capitol. Our efforts are not only going to focus on challenging Governor Snyder next year, but on retaking control of our legislature so that we can make our Government work for the people of Michigan once again.
I sincerely thank you for being a part of this fight with me and I look forward to continuing our work together through 2014 and beyond.
Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.