Today Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gretchen Whitmer announced Garlin Gilchrist II as her running mate in the 2018 election. Gilchrist has a proven background in technology and community organizing that will help move Michigan’s government into the 21st century and get things done for families across the state.
Gilchrist was born in Detroit and attended Detroit Public Schools until his family moved to Farmington when he was eight years old. After graduating high school, he went on to graduate from the University of Michigan School of Engineering on a full academic scholarship. After college, he moved to Washington to work as a software engineer at Microsoft and serve as the Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign. Gilchrist also worked as a community organizer in Washington, D.C. at the Center for Community Change and MoveOn.org, where he spearheaded projects to protect and expand Medicaid.
In 2014, Gilchrist and his wife, Ellen, made the decision to move back to Detroit to raise their family and help contribute to the future of the city. He served as the Detroit’s first-ever Director of Innovation & Emerging Technology and created a system for Detroiters to report problems in their communities, from potholes to broken street lights to clogged storm drains.
“I’m so proud to partner with Gretchen as we work together to build a better Michigan for everyone,” said Gilchrist. “I was born in Detroit. I love this state, but like many young adults, after I graduated from U of M I left Michigan behind for better opportunity. In 2014, my wife Ellen and I made the affirmative decision to come back to Detroit to help rebuild our city, to help repair our state, and to raise our children as Michiganders. I’m humbled and honored to join Gretchen Whitmer on the campaign trail, to bring people together from the UP to Detroit to solve problems and get things done for my children and for yours.”
Gilchrist and his wife Ellen are the proud parents of twins Garlin III and Emily.
“Garlin Gilchrist is a proven problem solver. He shares my commitment to public service, dedication to family, and love of Michigan and I’m proud to have him as a partner,” said Whitmer. “Garlin came back to Detroit and got to work solving problems that actually made a difference in people’s lives – from designing a system to report potholes, to fixing broken fire hydrants, to making city government more open and transparent. He is exactly the kind of young, innovative, and progressive problem-solver I need working with me in the governor’s office to move our state government forward and get things done for Michigan families, like fixing the damn roads, cleaning up our drinking water, repealing the retirement tax, and making sure every Michigander has a great public education that gets them on a path to a high wage skill.”
The Michigan Democratic Party will vote on the Lieutenant Governor nominee at this Sunday’s convention in East Lansing.