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This year, Michiganians have a chance to elect a true champion for hardworking Michigan families to the governor’s office. Gretchen Whitmer has spent her entire life on the front lines fighting for the people of our state to have a good-paying job and quality, affordable health care.

Whitmer has proven that she’ll work with everyone who wants to solve problems. She understands that as public servants, our allegiance is to the people of Michigan, not to a political party or a campaign donor.

As a United States senator, I fought to protect health care and patients’ rights. I know how important it is for every Michiganian to have access to quality, affordable health care, and our next governor needs to understand that too. As Senate Democratic Leader, Whitmer rolled up her sleeves and negotiated with Gov. Rick Snyder to expand Medicaid to over 670,000 Michiganians through Healthy Michigan.

That’s the kind of bipartisan leadership we need in Lansing to fix our crumbling roads and bridges. Right now, the average Michigan driver is paying more than $540 a year in car repairs. Whitmer has a concrete plan to fix our roads, including the creation of an infrastructure bank, and will do that the right way, with high-quality materials and mix that will hold up against harsh Michigan winters.

Michiganians have been working harder and harder in this economy, but there are still too many families that haven’t seen a raise in 10 years. Our workers deserve better. Every Michigander needs a good-paying job so they can support their family and retire with dignity. As Senate Democratic Leader, Whitmer worked with a Republican legislature to pass a minimum wage increase with a an adjustment for inflation.

Whitmer has always prioritized education funding and investment in job training programs so every Michiganian can get the skills they need for good-paying jobs.

Because we have shorted the funding for public education, too many of our educators are leaving Michigan in search of better opportunities. Every child deserves to have the resources needed to be successful, including early education, and educators should be treated with the respect they deserve. Whitmer has consistently fought for our kids to get the education they need. As a legislator, she took on governors from both parties when they tried to take money out of the School Aid fund to finance other projects. As governor, Whitmer would strive to make Michigan a world leader in education again.

Gretchen Whitmer will use her great talents to pull people together to build a better Michigan for all of us.

Carl Levin, former U.S. senator from Michigan

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