Insider: Jill Biden pledges 'educator' education secretary at Michigan fundraiser

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Jill Biden reiterated the idea this week that Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, would choose an "educator" to serve as U.S. education secretary if he's elected president.

During a Monday virtual reception focused on Michigan attendees, Whitmer and Jill Biden talked about her husband's plans for schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country needs to reopen schools "in a way that is safe for our children and our educators," said Jill Biden, who is a teacher. 

Gov. Gretchen Whimter and Jill Biden visit with students at the Think Tank at Impression 5 Science Center Lansing on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

Whitmer, a Democrat, briefly discussed her own plan for schools before referencing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who’s from Michigan and whose family is a major financial supporter of GOP candidates.

“Another great upside to a Biden presidency is the secretary of education will probably be an educator,” Whitmer said.

“Yes, for sure,” Jill Biden added.

The former vice president has previously said he'd pick a public school teacher for education secretary if he's elected.

The masked representatives

In two photo-ops — one more bipartisan than the other — Michigan's representatives in the U.S. House encouraged residents to wear masks to stem the spread of COVID-19.

In the first, the state's seven Democratic U.S. House members and Rep. Justin Amash (L-Cascade Township) posed for a picture outside the U.S. Capitol wearing masks. Rep. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township, tweeted the photo Tuesday with the hashtag #MaskUpMichigan.

Multiple Republicans said they weren't asked to participate in the photo. Then, on Wednesday, a second photo emerged on social media featuring six Democratic U.S. House members from Michigan and four Republicans. They were all wearing either masks or visors.

"Republican or Democrat, our message is the same: Mask up, Michigan!" Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, tweeted.

Ten U.S. House members from Michigan pose for a photo outside the Capitol to encourage residents to wear masks to stem the spread of COVID-19.

GOP lawmakers boost Unlock Michigan

Multiple Republican lawmakers are pitching in to help the petition effort that aims to limit Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency powers.

The group Unlock Michigan is attempting to gather more than 340,000 signatures to initiate legislation to repeal the 1945 law that allows the governor to declare a state of emergency and keep it going without input from lawmakers.

Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, held a petition signing event at a Lansing park last week that drew 580 people, according to a Facebook post from the senator.

Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, and Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron  Mountain, are holding their own signing event Saturday in Dickinson County.