Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s sister eyed as challenger for key GOP House seat

Abortion Michigan
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses supporters before signing legislation to repeal the 1931 abortion ban statute, which criminalized abortion in nearly all cases during a bill signing ceremony, Wednesday, April 5, 2023, in Birmingham, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s sister eyed as challenger for key GOP House seat

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As New York Democrats recover from their string of congressional losses in 2022, they are reportedly eyeing the sister of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) to help fuel their resurgence.

Liz Whitmer Gereghty, who resides in Westchester County, is considering mounting a challenge against Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), two sources told Politico.

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Her allies are setting their sights on a possible mid-April campaign launch. Gereghty has resided in the area for nearly two decades and served on the Katonah-Lewisboro school district board.

Whitmer sailed to a crushing victory during the 2022 midterm elections, campaigning hard on abortion rights and leading her party to control both state legislature chambers for the first time in nearly four decades.

All of that came in the environment of what was expected to be a red wave. This has drawn some 2024 whispers that the governor has swatted away.

But in New York, Democrats’ fortunes dimmed. Republicans managed to flip multiple competitive seats red. Lawler’s victory particularly stung for Democrats because he bested Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), formerly the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Despite being something of a political scion, given her sister’s stardom in liberal circles, Gereghty would likely enter a race with considerable political winds at her back.

Whitmer’s family also has connections with other prominent Democrats, such as Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), who has extensive experience in winning congressional races.

Many strategists view candidate recruitment as paramount to rectifying their losses.

However, given the history of Lawler’s seat, Gereghty would likely face a primary battle.

Since suffering a spat of congressional defeats in the Empire State, the DCCC, the campaign arm of the House Democrats, has fired off a billboard campaign targeting five freshmen Republicans, including Reps. Nick LaLota, Anthony D’Esposito, Lawler, Marc Molinaro, and Brandon Williams.

Lawler’s upset victory came amid multiple Democrats being pitted on a collision course. His Democratic foe, Maloney, hopped over from New York’s 18th Congressional District into the 17th District during congressional map upheaval. In doing so, he undercut progressive Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), who fled to the 10th District and lost in a primary.

Jones remains undecided about vying against Lawler but is contemplating a run, according to the report. Ironically, the 18th District from where Maloney switched was won by Democrat Pat Ryan.

Maloney has also reportedly kept a comeback bid in the 17th District on the table.

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Given the threadbare 222 to 113 GOP control of the lower chamber, Lawler’s seat could provide critical to determining the balance of power in the House.

Republicans hold a slight edge heading into the 2024 election for the House, according to the Cook Political Report.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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