Now There's Two of Them: Michigan Governor Whitmer's Sister Mulls Run for Congress

Gretchen Whitmer, Liz Whitmer Gereghty (Twitter)
April 6, 2023

Democrats seeking to flip a New York House seat in 2024 could soon be casting ballots for a candidate with a recognizable name: the sister of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer (D.).

Liz Whitmer Gereghty, Whitmer's sister, is considering running for incumbent Rep. Mike Lawler's (R.) seat in the New York City suburbs, Politico reported Thursday. Her campaign for the swing district could launch as soon as mid-April.

Though new to congressional politics, Gereghty's name recognition and connection to a powerful national figure could appeal to New York Democrats, who suffered the party's worst losses in the 2022 midterms.

But Whitmer's name also carries controversy with it. The governor has faced attacks for her role in shuttering businesses and churches through her COVID-19 lockdowns in Michigan, which were some of the most strict in the country.

Michigan churches sued Whitmer in 2020 for a COVID lockdown that the groups said violated their First Amendment rights. Last month, Whitmer conceded that her lockdowns, which penalized Michiganders for leaving their homes, "in retrospect don't make a lot of sense."

Whitmer has also been outspoken about promoting LGBTQ interests and abortion, vowing to "veto any anti-trans legislation that hits her desk" and defend a "constitutional right to an abortion."

Gereghty's potential opponent, Lawler, in 2022 defeated Democratic incumbent and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Sean Maloney to win the seat, making Maloney the first DCCC chair to lose reelection in four decades.