June 29, 2021

PHILADELPHIA — Today, 314 Action Fund announced a joint endorsement for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her running mate, engineer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist. The Whitmer/Gilchrist administration’s robust and early leadership as the pandemic began to rage across the state drew the ire of radical paramilitary groups, which culminated in a foiled plot to kidnap her and overthrow statewide leadership. 

Despite this far-right, anti-science opposition, Whitmer and Gilchrist focused on Michiganders; standing strong to help schools, public health facilities, and small businesses work through and recover from the pandemic. 

“Governor Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist have been strong leaders during one of the toughest periods in our nation’s history — and Michiganders deserve to have their powerful voices another four years,” said Shaughnessy Naughton, president of 314 Action. “Lt. Gov. Gilchrist is a rising star and has a bright future ahead of him in Michigan. His background as an engineer in particular has been enormously helpful during the pandemic, as Michigan now tops 60 percent vaccination rates and the government in Lansing continues its focus on helping and improving schools, small businesses, and communities across the state. As Michigan’s economy continues to recover, having data- and facts-focused leaders at the state’s helm is more important than ever.”

“I am thankful to have earned the endorsement of 314 Action Fund,” Said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Throughout the pandemic, my administration and I led with science and data to act decisively and save thousands of lives. As we return to normal we will continue to move forward on fundamental kitchen-table issues that make a difference in people’s lives.”

“Throughout the past year and a half as we have been combating COVID-19, we have seen just how important understanding and trusting science can be,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist. “Science is a key part of our policies and decisions that ultimately protect public health. We must be doing everything we can to encourage individuals with a strong STEM background to enter into politics, at every level, from local boards in our communities to Congress. Their expertise and knowledge can help us protect public health and lead our nation into a more prosperous future.”


314 Action Fund, which aims to elect scientists and candidates with STEM backgrounds to office, has significant resources to spend on electing pro-science candidates in states across the country. In the 2020 cycle, 314 Action Fund’s independent expenditure arm spent over $11.5 million.

In 2022, 314 Action Fund will aim to spend $50 million to elect scientists across all levels of government, with initial targets of seven U.S. Senate races, forty U.S. House races, and twenty-one statewide races — including Michigan. In 2020, the organization spent $25 million on behalf of its endorsed candidates and raised a total of $5 million in grassroots donations for scientists running for office.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was elected to her first term in 2018. When the coronavirus pandemic spun out of control last year, Whitmer led Michigan through a once-in-a-century public health crisis in spite of threats from Donald Trump and far-right militia groups. Whitmer refused to be intimidated, following the science and taking decisive action to save lives and businesses across the state.

From establishing workforce education programs Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect to boosting the state’s investment in public education without raising citizens’ taxes, Whitmer has fought to provide Michiganders with the resources they need to thrive. And when it comes to valuing science and expertise, Michiganders know Whitmer trusts scientists because she named one —  Lt. Garlin Gilchrist — as her running mate.


Born and raised in Detroit and its suburbs, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist has paved a unique path in government as the highest ranking elected official with a science background in Michigan. Gilchrist received bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan before becoming a software engineer for Microsoft. 

Putting his scientific background to work for the people of Michigan, Gilchrist is eager to continue his fight to expand access to reliable high-speed internet as well as to reform our criminal justice system and other institutions through proactive, evidence-based policies. During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Gilchrist was named chair of the taskforce to identify and analyze racial disparities faced by Michiganders during the public health crisis. 


314 Action Fund is powered by a grassroots community of over six million people working to elect scientists, doctors, and STEM professionals who will use science and facts to address our most pressing issues like climate change and health care. In 2018 and 2020, we played a pivotal role in flipping the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, electing eleven Democratic scientists to federal office, as well as over 100 to state and local offices. In 2021 and 2022, 314 Action Fund will continue working to elect science leaders and defeat climate deniers in Congress and legislatures across the country.