Democratic candidate for governor Gretchen Whitmer ended a tour across west Michigan on Tuesday with a town hall in Benton Harbor. It was mostly a night for her to listen, with folks telling her about the issues on their minds. Benton Harbor Mayor Pro Tem Duane Seats talked about racial disparities in the justice system.
“Young men who are in the prison systems who have been over-sentenced, who have been under-represented, who have not gotten any redress,” Seats said.
Berrien County Commissioner Mamie Yarbrough spoke about the Great Lakes and other water quality concerns.
“We need to be taking care of our water ways at home right here in the state of Michigan,” Yarbrough said.
Other common concerns were support for struggling schools, road funding, and skilled trades education. Whitmer told WSJM News she’s taking the information she hears from people and building a platform as she seeks her party’s nomination for governor.
“I know that what I’m hearing from people is that they are ready for a big change in Michigan, and I think that having been the leader of the resistance for so many years, I am in a great position to be that change that we so desperately need,” Whitmer said.
Whitmer, a former state senator, is still working toward collecting enough petition signatures to get on the ballot, something which she’s confident she’ll be able to get. She does have to face some Democratic primary opponents, but is widely considered her party’s frontrunner for governor.