Updated: Whitmer beats Dixon in Michigan governor’s race

By: - November 9, 2022 12:45 am

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wins another term on Nov. 8, 2022 | Andrew Roth

Updated, 1:14 a.m., 11/9/22, with comments from Gov. Whitmer, 1:50 a.m., with updated results

With over 65% of the state’s total votes tallied, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defeated Republican nominee Tudor Dixon in Tuesday’s election.

The Associated Press called the election just after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

According to White House pool reports, President Joe Biden made a call to Whitmer to congratulate her after Fox News called the race for her hours before. The governor is in Detroit for Democrats’ election party.

“We are waiting for some final numbers … But we are feeling damn good about where we are headed,” Whitmer said to supporters during her election night watch party.

“I never thought I’d be so happy about Fox News but I’m glad they called this election, too,” she added.

Dixon has not addressed supporters at her Grand Rapids party as scheduled and sent out a statement blasting the network, upon which she has done many appearances during the campaign.

“The race is not over yet, and Fox’s call was premature. We expect counting continue into tomorrow in our major counties. This race has a long way to go,” Dixon said in a statement.

Republican nominee for governor Tudor Dixon speaks at a rally with former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in Southfield, Mich. on Oct. 29, 2022. (Andrew Roth/Michigan Advance)

Whitmer’s campaign has been centered around her successes during her first term, focusing on historic investments into the state’s K-12 budget, her efforts to protect abortion rights in the state, growth in the state’s automotive industry and recent economic growth after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Democratic Governors Association Chair North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper congratulated Whitmer in a statement.

“Michiganders voted for another four years of progress and reelected Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to continue to push the state forward. She is a strong and proven leader who has always put Michigan first by working with both parties to grow and prepare the economy for the future, rebuild roads and bridges, defend democracy, and protect women’s reproductive rights,” he said.

Just before 1:30 a.m., Whitmer Campaign Manager Preston Elliott released a statement declaring victory.

“Tonight, Michiganders across the state made their voices heard to re-elect Governor Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist so they can continue building on their historic progress investing in public education, strengthening infrastructure, fixing the damn roads, growing the economy, and defending reproductive freedom. Governor Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist are grateful for the overwhelming support of Michiganders from Monroe to Marquette and look forward to continuing to serve the great state of Michigan for four more years,” Elliott said.

On the campaign trail, Dixon, a former right-wing commentator, focused on anti-LGBTQ+ issues, criticizing Whitmer on her COVID-19 stay-home orders and crime.

Early results in critical Oakland County, with 72% of votes tallied, show Whitmer with a strong lead over Dixon — Whitmer with 60.3% of the tallied votes, Dixon with 38.4%.

Dixon has done better in rural, conservative counties, such as in West Michigan. In Ottawa County, with 70.5% of the votes in, Dixon has garnered 61.5% of the vote and Whitmer has 37%.

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.

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