DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s a solid endorsement for Gretchen Whitmer’s run for the state’s top job. Three Wayne County leaders throwing their support behind Whitmer and her run for governor. County Executive Warren Evans, Prosecutor Kym Worthy, and Sheriff Benny Napoleon joined together at the Mathis Community Center in Detroit Tuesday morning to endorse the former legislative leader.
Whitmer was asked her thoughts on Michigan State Police Colonel Kriste Etue, who’s under fire for reposting a meme on her Facebook page calling the NFL players who kneel during the anthem — “degenerates.”
“When you give someone a gun and a badge it comes with a much greater responsibility to the public you serve,” said Whitmer, “and your judgement is absolutely essential. That would never happen with someone in my administration — or they wouldn’t continue to be in the administration.”
She says she’s running as a Michigander who loves this state. “I’m running as a mom who wants my kid, and your kids, and every kid in this state to have a great education system, so they are prepared for success in life. I’m running as a policy-maker who knows Michigan can’t claim to be a successful state until we are a state of successful people.”
When talking about the Flint water crisis Whitmer telling WWJ that everyone in government was asleep at the wheel.
“I think the saddest thing is that for two years – everyone in government was asleep at the wheel, while 8,000 kids were drinking poison. I think that hasn’t fixed one drop of water for the people of the city of Flint. At the end of the day — that’s all I care about — is how do we help the people in the city of Flint – whose government failed them at every level.”
The Governor’s office has said it will not ask Colonel Etchu to resign – despite a number of lawmakers and leaders calling for her job.
Michigan Attorney General (R) Bill Schuette launched his bid for governor in September. Dr. Jim Hines and state Sen. Patrick Colbeck are the other main GOP candidates running, though Lt. Gov. Brian Calley — a Snyder ally — is weighing a bid. The conservative Schuette and more moderate Snyder have had a testy relationship.
Michigan has been a top target nationally for Democrats, even before Donald Trump’s surprise win over Hillary Clinton in the state last year. Their diverse field includes presumed front-runner Whitmer, ex-Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed; Shri Thanedar, an immigrant entrepreneur from India; and Bill Cobbs, a former Xerox executive.
The Democratic Governor’s Association said Schuette “is only on duty for special interests and political cronies,” and accused him of wasting public funds on “political” lawsuits and opposing the interests of working-class people. Critics also blasted Schuette for defending the state’s gay marriage ban and challenging former President Barack Obama’s health care law and pollution regulations.
Republicans’ hold on the White House and Congress could be a bonus in 2018 for Democrats, who will have been out of power at the state level for eight years. The last time a gubernatorial candidate won Michigan and was from the same party as the president was 1990.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)