Breaking: Whitmer endorses Biden ahead of Michigan primary

Gretchen Whitmer (left) and Joe Biden (right)

After staying out of the Democratic presidential primary for more than a year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has delivered a key endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden’s resurgent campaign.

“I am going to be voting for Joe Biden,” Whitmer said Thursday morning.

Whitmer made the announcement on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. She said that Biden’s commitment to health care was a key part in her decision, noting that her mother, Sherry, a former Michigan assistant attorney general, died of the same brain tumor that Biden’s late son, Beau, also had. Whitmer said she “commiserated” with Biden and appreciated his response.

Michigan’s primary is in five days on Tuesday, with analysts agreeing that it will be a key test of strength for the former VP and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who won a narrow victory here in 2016. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has been reassessing her campaign after failing to win a single contest so far.

Biden campaigned for Whitmer and the Democratic ticket close to the November 2018 election at Lansing Community College.

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Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.