Last Tuesday, voters in Michigan selected the Democratic ticket of Gretchen Whitmer and Garlin Gilchrist II to lead the state during the next four years, ending nearly a decade of Republican control of the Great Lakes State.
Whitmer and Gilchrist’s victory means a lot to us here at the Northwest Progressive Institute because Garlin served on our staff from 2007–2009 prior to moving back east to take a position with the Center for Community Change.
After serving the Center for Community Change as New Media Director, Garlin worked for MoveOn.org for several years before joining the City of Detroit as Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement and Director of Innovation & Emerging Technology. Last year, he ran for Detroit City Clerk, and lost by just 1,482 votes. Early this year, he founded and served as the initial Executive Director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Social Media Responsibility.
A few weeks ago, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gretchen Whitmer asked Garlin to be her running mate. He accepted. The Whitmer/Gilchrist ticket has so far received 53.34% of the vote in Michigan’s general election (2,256,791 votes).
A discerning thinker and gifted writer, Garlin authored many posts here on the Cascadia Advocate while a fellow and Senior Policy Analyst (Technology) — like this one championing universal broadband. We are very thankful for his contributions to our work during his time on staff, and we are proud to be associated with him.
Garlin and his wife Ellen have two twins: Garlin Gilchrist III and Emily Grace.
We’ve always believed Garlin would make a great elected leader one day.
We’re thrilled that Gretchen Whitmer selected him to be her running mate and that the voters of Michigan have chosen the two of them to lead.
Soon all of Michigan will benefit from Garlin’s leadership abilities.
As in most states, the Lieutenant Governor of Michigan has three principal responsibilities.
The L.G. serves as Acting Governor when the Governor is out of state, presides over the State Senate, and succeeds the Governor in the event they become unable to serve due to death or incapacitation.
Statewide offices in Michigan, including Governor and Lieutenant Governor, are limited to two consecutive two-year terms.
In Washington, the Lieutenant Governor is elected separately from the Governor by the voters, but in many other states, like Michigan, the two positions are paired together just as the U.S. Presidency and Vice Presidency are.
We can’t wait to see Garlin in action as the presiding officer of the Republican-dominated (for now, anyway) Michigan State Senate. Michigan’s Senate, incidentally, is one of just a few full time state legislative bodies in the United States.
Of all of the results of last Tuesday’s election, I think this one just has to be our favorite result from beyond the Pacific Northwest, our home turf.
It’s so wonderful to see one of our own receive the opportunity to govern. Congratulations to Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor-elect Garlin Gilchrist II. Your election means that Michigan can finally move past the disastrous Rick Snyder era. We wish you all the best as you take office.