Advance Notice: Briefs

Harris calls Michigan a ‘bellwether’ at Whitmer 2022 fundraiser

By: - July 13, 2021 9:10 am

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Sen. Kamala Harris at a rally for former Vice President Joe Biden in Detroit, March 9, 2020 | Andrew Roth

Following an event promoting vaccinations in Detroit on Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris headlined a fundraiser for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is up for reelection in 2022.

At the event at the TCF Center, Harris noted that she was last in the Motor City on Election Day 2020. President Joe Biden carried Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, flipping the state that former President Donald Trump won in 2016 and helping the Democrat secure his Electoral College victory.

“And I said then what remains true: Michigan is a bellwether for the United States. What you do here, what happens here is a reflection of who we are as a country,” Harris said.

Harris said Biden told her to give Whitmer “my best” and added, “We stand with her.”

The vice president highlighted Whitmer’s COVID-19 pandemic response and her support for the expanded child tax credit, which goes into effect on Thursday.

“Her leadership has been the leadership during some of the most difficult times our country could imagine — extraordinary — during this pandemic where we saw an incredible loss of life, a loss of jobs, a loss of hope,” Harris said. “… I will tell you, she made many a call to the president and to me during this time, talking about the needs of the people of Michigan. She is one of those rare leaders who puts what’s right ahead of what’s popular to represent the people as they should expect a governor to represent them. That’s who she is, and that makes some people really fearful because that’s some strong, powerful stuff to be that kind of leader.”

Currently, there are at least five Republicans running for the ’22 nomination: Grand Rapids Republican Austin Chenge, right-wing television commentator Tudor Dixon, Allendale Township Planning Commissioner Ryan Kelley, Kalamazoo chiropractor Garrett Soldano and Evan Space, who did not make it on the 2018 ballot.

James Craig, the former Detroit Police chief, also is making the rounds.

Harris noted that “Nov. 8, 2022, seems like a long way off, but it’s practically around the corner.”

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 22-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQ+ people, the state budget, the economy and more. She previously served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 90 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 5,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 80 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two kids along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.