Who is Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer?

Whitmer has faced backlash for her strict coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took office on Jan. 1, 2019, after flipping the governor's office from red to blue.

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Whitmer has faced backlash for her strict coronavirus stay-at-home orders, including prohibiting private gatherings regardless of size or family ties, prompting protests in Lansing, the state's capital.

"Everyone has a right to protest and speak up," Whitmer said in a statement. "We recognize that some people are angry and frustrated, and that’s OK. The Governor will always defend everyone’s rights to free speech. We just ask those who choose to protest these orders to do so in a manner that doesn’t put their health or the health of our first responders at risk."

In a pool photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Monday, April 27, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)

She is the second woman elected to lead the state and is Michigan through and through. Whitmer was born in Lansing in 1971. She's a double Michigan State University graduate after earning her bachelor's and law degree at the university.

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She's a former prosecutor who entered state politics in 2000, when she was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives. She was elected to the state Senate in 2006 and served as Senate Democratic leader before running for governor.

Whitmer and her husband Dr. Marc Mallory have a blended family of five: she has two daughters and he has three sons. Michigan's first couple have been married since 2011.

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