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Whitmer wins Democratic primary for governor

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State Senator Gretchen Whitmer
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Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer

Gretchen Whitmer has won the Democratic nomination for Michigan governor, besting two competitors to advance to the November race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

Whitmer, a former legislative leader, defeated chemical-testing businessman Shri Thanedar and ex-Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed in Tuesday's primary. She will face Attorney General Bill Schuette, who defeated Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, state Sen. Patrick Colbeck and Dr. Jim Hines in the GOP primary.

Whitmer was considered the favorite due to her political experience and broad support from organized labor and other key groups. El-Sayed especially courted the party's more liberal, pro-Bernie Sanders wing, as did Thanedar, who spent millions of dollars of his own money on his campaign.

The Michigan governorship is a top target for the Democratic Party, which is eager to make gains in the Midwest, where Republicans have dominated state governments and which helped President Donald Trump take the White House in 2016.
 

Vincent Duffy has been news director at Michigan Radio since May 2007.