November 9, 2022
(HIGHLAND, Mich.) — Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer has retained her position as Michigan’s governor against Republican challenger Tudor Dixon as voters turned out in higher-than-expected numbers. The Associated Press called the race for Whitmer at approximately 1:20 AM Wednesday morning.
Whitmer took the stage in Detroit in the early morning hours on Wednesday to celebrate her re-election. “We have come a long way, Michigan,” she said. “We are thrilled at the unexpected high turnout, we are thrilled that the three ballot initiatives got passed, and I never thought I’d be so happy about Fox News, but I’m glad they called this election, too!”
What started as a commanding lead for Whitmer began to shrink in the days leading up to the election, with Whitmer at 48.7% and Dixon not far behind at 43.6%, according to a recent poll from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. The race was heavily influenced by the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the candidates’ differing views on abortion. Dixon spoke out in favor of a statewide ban on abortion, while Whitmer wants to codify abortion rights for all women. History was made in Michigan on this front, as voters came out in favor of Proposal 3, enshrining the right to an abortion in the state constitution.
Whitmer was born and raised in Michigan. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from Michigan State University. Prior to her election to the state legislature in 2001, she worked as an associate attorney for the law firm of Dickinson Wright PLCC. She briefly lectured at her alma mater in 2015.
Whitmer is known for her plan to “fix the damn roads” in Michigan, where the potholes and road infrastructure as a whole are some of the worst in the country. “Since I took office through the end of 2022, we will have invested 70% more in our roads than the previous four years to fix over 16,000 lane miles of road and 1,200 bridges, supporting nearly 89,000 jobs,” Whitmer said in a recent press release.
Dixon grew up in Napierville, Ill., and graduated from the University of Kentucky. She moved to Norton Shores, Mich. in the early 2000s. For 15 years, Dixon worked in steel sales, and in 2017, she became a prominent voice in conservative media as an anchor for America’s Voice News. Dixon raised nearly $7 million in campaign contributions, compared to Whitmer’s near-$31 million at the time of this publication, according to Transparency USA’s data.
Dixon is also a breast cancer survivor and a former actress, endorsed by prominent political figures like former President Donald Trump and former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Dixon is an election denier and has stated that former President Trump was the rightful winner of the 2020 election.
Michigan is a swing state. The divide between the two parties intensified following the 2016 presidential election when the majority flipped in favor of Republican candidate Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton at a razor-thin 0.22% lead. In the 2020 presidential election, Democratic candidate Joe Biden took the state by only 2.78%. Last night’s midterm election was a historic one in Michigan, with Democrats taking control of the Michigan State Senate for the first time since 1984.