Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan Was Overlooked. Not Any Longer.

She won her first primary election for the State House of Representatives less than three years after graduating through law school, kick-starting her political ascent of which culminated with her becoming the first woman to lead a party caucus in Michigan’s Senate.

Republicans have criticized Ms. Whitmer for being a lifelong politician along with failing to sponsor significant legislation while from the statehouse. They have also said of which in her next job after leaving the legislature, as Ingham County prosecutor, she failed to aggressively investigate Lawrence G. Nassar, the former Michigan State gymnastics doctor who was later convicted of charges of sexual molestation along with child pornography.

Ms. Whitmer has said she pursued the necessary charges based on the information she was given at the time, along with the Nassar case was eventually taken out of her jurisdiction. She also notes of which she made several reforms to the prosecutor’s office in her six-month tenure, including opening a unit dedicated to investigating domestic violence.

Political experts in Michigan point to the Medicaid expansion as a defining moment for her bipartisan credentials. Some Democrats in 2013 were torn about whether to work with the Republican governor, Rick Snyder, such a key legislative accomplishment, yet Ms. Whitmer gained fans throughout the state for her willingness to put policy over politics.

Debbie Stabenow, the Michigan senator who won re-election Tuesday, credits Ms. Whitmer for helping women secure victories across the ticket. Ms. Stabenow said This kind of was especially important to do so by emphasizing their job qualifications, not their gender.

“Sooner or later in American history This kind of moment was going to come, where women were stepping forward along with being recognized as the most qualified candidate,” Ms. Stabenow said, as Aretha Franklin’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” blared through Ms. Whitmer’s campaign bus on Tuesday. “along with of which didn’t happen because we were in a back room along with planned This kind of together, yet because each of us ran on our own merits.”

The next song from the queue was Ms. Whitmer’s favorite: Lizzo’s women’s empowerment anthem, “not bad as Hell.”

“Boss up along with change your life,” the future governor sang. “You can have This kind of all, no sacrifice.”