The governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, declined the opportunity to serve in the cabinet of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden if he succeeded in defeating President Donald Trump.
Whitmer supported Biden, who served as vice president under former president Barack Obama, during an appearance on MSNBC in early March and as one of his national campaign presidents. The Democratic governor’s name was brought up as a serious candidate for Biden’s candidacy as vice president, but Biden chose Senator Kamala Harris of California instead.
“I will remain close to a Biden administration,” Whitmer told reporters on Tuesday afternoon. “But I have neither the desire nor the intention to go into a Cabinet.”
“My intention is to stay here and make this state work again and make sure our economy thrives, but first of all we have to get this health crisis under control. That’s what I will work on first with the Biden government,” she said.
Washington Newsday asked the Biden campaign for comment, but it did not respond immediately.
Even when Whitmer underwent the review process because she was considered Biden’s running mate, the governor repeatedly insisted that she serve in the office she wanted.
“I will be very candid with you: The job I want is the job I have,” Whitmer claimed in an interview with CNN in April. “I worked for two years to become Governor of the State of Michigan, and although it was a challenge and there were some tough days, there is no place I would rather be than here in my home state,” she said.
The governor also said on Tuesday that she expects Michigan to have the highest turnout in the state’s history in the Midwest. “I would be stunned if this was not a record turnout,” Whitmer said.
Michigan’s previous record turnout was set in 2008, when 5.08 million Michigans cast their votes during Obama’s first election. By Tuesday afternoon some 3.2 million ballots had already been returned in the state, the Michigan secretary of state said. It is expected that millions more ballots will be submitted before the elections are completed.
Although Trump Michigan was just below Michigan in 2016 with less than 11,000 votes, Obama won the state in 2008 and 2012. Before these victories, Democratic presidential candidates had carried the state in every election since 1992. Recent polls suggest that Biden is favored for the state victory, but many show that his lead is within the margin of error.
It is noteworthy that Whitmer’s predecessor, former Republican Governor Rick Snyder, also supported Biden in early September. In a statement published by USA Today, Snyder described Trump as “a tyrant who lacks a moral compass. He wrote that Biden would bring “courtesy” back to the nation’s leadership.