Forty six years old, Gretchen Whitmer spent fifteen of those years in the Michigan legislature representing East Lansing, She was five years in the House, then filled a vacancy to move to the Senate. During her final four years, until she was term limited out, she was Senate Minority Leader. She was a forceful leader in difficult times.
Elissa Slotkin lives on her family's farm in Southwestern Michigan. Her grandfather, Sam Slotkin, was a butcher. He founded Hygrade, the company responsible for Ball Park Franks, the hot dogs sold in the Detroit Tigers' Briggs Stadium. She went on to Columbia to study international development. Elissa Slotkin's first day at Columbia was September 10, 2001. Her second day was 9/11. She sought public service and became an analyst for the CIA. She worked in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and for the National Security Council under President Bush. She was the only Iraq adviser Obama held over from the Bush administration. When Elissa Slotkin returned home shortly after her marriage to a helicopter pilot in Iraq, she had thoughts about running for political office. The incumbents vote against the ACA clinched her decision.
Until her loss in 2016, Gretchen Driskellhad only successes as a politician. In non-partisan elections, she was elected to the Saline City Council in 1992 and reelected twice. She was elected as the first female mayor of Saline in 1998 and was elected four more times before running successfully for the state senate. As mayor, Gretchen Driskellnotes she passed 14 balanced budgets in 14 years. Saline was named one of the top 100 small cities in America three times. She ran for the state legislature as a Democrat -- defeating a popular Republican in what was considered a Republican District. While the state legislative election was partisan, the negative campaign in her run for Congress was a shock.
Debbie Stabenow trained to be a social worker and it shows. She is a work horse Senator. She takes on unglamorous jobs. She was chair and is now the ranking member of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. When she was chair and orchestrating the writing of the farm bill, she focused on supporting clean energy, local food systems, specialty crops that would reinvigorate the economies of small towns and rural communities as well as cutting-edge research and bio-based manufacturing. The food and farm legislation while she was chair had bipartisan support
Haley Stevens was President Obama's Auto Task Force's Chief of Staff. She was responsible for making the task force effective. The plan was so effective and she was so effective in leading its implementation that most of these, at the time tenuous, corporate auto loans have been repaid with interest. Recently, Haley Stevens has been saving and creating jobs in other ways. She worked as director of workforce development and manufacturing engagement for the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute in Chicago. She led a national workforce development program and created the country’s first online training program for digital manufacturing. Haley Stevens has a BA and MA from American University. She studied public policy and will have had to have learned a lot to win this election. This is not one of the districts that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. But it is one in which there is a chance that a strong Democratic candidate could win.