LANSING, Mich. – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today applauded the election of gun sense champion Gretchen Whitmer as governor. Whitmer beat NRA-endorsed, and A+ rated, Bill Schuette in the race.
Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors knocked doors and phonebanked for gun sense candidates like Gretchen Whitmer, while Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund spent $760,000 in support of Whitmer, and for ads highlighting Whitmer’s position on important issues. Everytown’s electoral activities in Michigan included contributions as well as independent expenditures.
“With the election of Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan voters just sent an urgent message to all of their leaders: The time for action on gun safety is now,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The NRA’s extreme rhetoric is clearly falling on deaf ears in Michigan.”
“Gretchen Whitmer’s victory today is a win for public safety,” said Emily Durbin, volunteer leader with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We are looking forward to having a governor who recognizes the far-reaching consequences of gun violence. So many citizens across the state volunteered their time and worked diligently to demand action on this issue, and the results of this election show our efforts have paid off. ”
“We are elated today,” said Rick and Martha Omilian, members of the Everytown Survivor Network whose daughter, Maggie Wardle, was shot and killed by an ex-partner in 1999. “Electing officials who will stand up to the agenda of the gun lobby puts our state one step closer to ending gun violence. We are no longer satisfied with mere ‘thoughts and prayers’ ― we are demanding change and holding our lawmakers accountable. We know that the results of today’s elections and the unwavering effort it took to get here would make Maggie proud.”
Whitmer’s victory shows gun violence prevention is a winning issue in Michigan. Whitmer, who received the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction and was endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, received an F rating from the NRA. Her opponent, Bill Schuette, received an A+ rating – and ran television ads touting his NRA grade and endorsement – while advocating for expanding access to guns and arming teachers. Whitmer’s win tonight indicates the ground is shifting on gun politics in Michigan.