Whitmer names running mate: Garlin Gilchrist II

Posted at 8:06 AM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 20:09:34-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer has announced that her running mate is Garlin Gilchrist II, who runs the University of Michigan's Center for Social Media Responsibility.

She said Monday that Gilchrist has a proven background in technology and community organizing, and is the "kind of young, innovative and progressive problem-solver" needed to help move Michigan forward.

“I am confident that I’ve got a running mate who’s got the right priorities, who’s got my back, who’s gonna work just as hard as I am," Whitmer says. "There aren’t many people that are as talented as the man that I’ve selected as my running mate and I made that selection very thoughtfully with a thorough vetting and I am confident that he is the man for the job.”

The 35-year-old Gilchrist previously was Detroit's first Director of Innovation & Emerging Technology and also worked at the liberal group and for Microsoft.

He narrowly lost a 2017 election to incumbent Detroit Clerk Janice Winfrey. Gilchrist has never held an elected position but Whitmer says he's not bothered by his lack of experience.

“Experience is not a problem in state government," Whitmer says. "What is a problem right now is we don’t have people who know how to get things done. Garlin Gilchrist, when you think about the unemployment insurance agency scandal, someone like Garlin is the perfect person to get in there and fix these problems that are hurting people in our state.”

Gilchrist is expected to be nominated by Michigan Democrats at their convention this weekend. The selection of Gilchrist, who is black, would add racial and gender diversity to a top of the ticket dominated by white women.

Gilchrist says he voted for Whitmer in the primary election.

“I’m proud of the momentum that we built through that campaign and we’re gonna build upon that and add to the energy that’s been happening with Gretchen Whitmer all over the state," Gilchrist says.

The Associate Press contributed to this report.

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