Sen. Gretchen Whitmer not running for Michigan governor - FOX 32 News Chicago

Sen. Gretchen Whitmer not running for Michigan governor

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

The Democratic frontrunner has dropped out of the race for Michigan governor before she ever really entered it.

Wednesday, East Lansing Senator Gretchen Whitmer announced on Facebook that she will not seek the Democratic nomination.

Senator Whitmer was not in her office.  She was not in her seat on the floor.  In fact, she quietly walked out the back door rather than take reporters' questions on this major decision to get out.

"I cannot be the Democratic leader, a great mom and wage that fight in 2014 due to the age of my kids," Whitmer explained in a video.

With daughters who are nine and ten at home and a new husband with three kids of his own, the longtime Democratic frontrunner for governor decided it was not the time for her to do this.

Democrat Bob Emerson got a text message that she was out.

"I told her it was good for her, probably not good for us.  I think Gretchen would be a terrific candidate, but I also know she's trying to figure out how to make a family work with a new marriage," he said.

So now what?  Former candidate Virg Bernero was prepared to back Whitmer.  He'll go back on the list.

Also on the list is Congressman Gary Peters, former Secretary of State candidate Jocelyn Benson, and consultant Dennis Denno says his former boss, Congressman Mark Schauer, will be in the mix, too.

"It adds some urgency to find a candidate.  It's disappointing because she would've been a great candidate for governor, and I think it just starts us anew," Denno told me.

So what might have been for Ms. Whitmer will not be, at least not in 2014.

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