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Freshly minted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II met with hundreds of Flint residents during a stop at the Flint Farmers’ Market on Saturday.
The event, billed as a Whitmer Winter Warm-Up, was organized by the governor’s transition team to accommodate those who wanted to celebrate the results of the election but couldn’t make it to the inauguration ceremony in Lansing.
Lines to meet the governor were so long that Whitmer and her team decided to cancel a planned speech to ensure that everybody in attendance could get a photo.
But Whitmer said during a brief media scrum that events like this are more than a photo opportunity; they provide a starting point for her to earn back the trust of Flint citizens.
“There’s no question that one of the hardest things I’ve got to do is earn back the trust of the people of Flint. It’s been violated and it’s been taken for granted,” Whitmer said. “I’m determined to do that, and that’s why I’m here today.”
Food was provided at the event by local vendors and coloring activities were set up for children.
Attendees were encouraged to bring a book to be donated to charity, and any children who attended were given a free copy of Mackinac Bridge: The Story of the Five-Mile Poem.
Whitmer made building bridges together a key theme of her campaign and inauguration, retelling the story of former Gov. G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams, a Democrat, working with a Republican Legislature to build the Mackinac Bridge.
Saturday’s stop was Whitmer’s first trip to Flint since being elected governor.