Nov. 21 2013 12:00 AM

‘At this point in time, I have to spend a little more energy on the home front’


Thursday, Nov. 21 — Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, said today she will not put her name on a statewide ticket in 2014, meaning a run for lieutenant governor or attorney general is out.

Speaking today during a taping of “City Pulse Newsmakers,” Whitmer said her 10- and 11-year-old daughters are her top consideration. With her job as Senate minority leader also requiring a significant amount of her attention, she said she doesn't feel like she could put the necessary time and energy into a statewide campaign.

“If you’re going to win, you have to go with it full bore and with a fire in your belly. At this point in time, I have to spend a little more energy on the home front,” she said.

The episode, during which Whitmer also discusses Court of Claims legislation and marijuana decriminalization, airs at 9 a.m. Sunday on MY18-TV.

Whitmer has been speculated as a possible running mate to likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mark Schauer or as an attorney general candidate. Her name was floated for AG in 2010, as well.

As the most visible counterpoint to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder since he took office in 2011, Whitmer said it was presumed by some that she was positioning herself for a statewide run because she “was trying to do my current job as best I could.”

However, Whitmer bowed out of a run then and a gubernatorial run in 2014 for the same reasons. She said she didn’t want to spend that much time away from her daughters.

Last summer, she said her daughter told her she was only going to live with her eight more years.

“It really hit me that I have this small window with my girls at home and I’ve got to be there,” she said. “I can't imagine being on my death bed wishing that I had run for another office, but I can imagine wishing I had been at home and been more active in my kids’ lives.”

When she is term-limited at the end of 2014, Whitmer said she is not going to “hang out in her kitchen,” as one pundit insinuated in a column. She said she could practice law or pursue other avenues, but as the Democratic leader in the Senate, she is focusing her attention on policy or helping the caucus increase its numbers in 2014.

“I feel like I’ve been one of the luckiest people to have served in the last 13 years,” she said. “Ingham County is a progressive, wonderful place to live and it’s been an honor to have been a voice in some sort of a capacity in the Legislature during that time.”