Garlin Gilchrist

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Garlin Gilchrist
Garlin Gilchrist in Grand Rapids.jpg
64th Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
Assumed office
January 1, 2019
GovernorGretchen Whitmer
Preceded byBrian Calley
Personal details
Garlin Gilchrist II

(1982-09-25) September 25, 1982 (age 38)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Ellen Gilchrist
ResidenceDetroit, Michigan, U.S.
Farmington, Michigan, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Michigan
  • Politician
  • Entrepreneur
  • Activist
WebsiteGovernment website

Garlin Gilchrist II (born September 25, 1982) is an American politician, entrepreneur and activist serving as the 64th Lieutenant Governor of Michigan since 2019. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life and education[edit]

Gilchrist was born in Detroit. In 1982, his family moved to Farmington, Michigan. His mother worked at General Motors for 32 years and his father worked in defense contract management for the Department of Defense.[1] In 2005, he graduated from the University of Michigan College of Engineering, earning Bachelor of Science in Engineering degrees in Computer Science and Computer Engineering.[2]


Gilchrist moved to Redmond, Washington, and worked for Microsoft for four years as a software engineer, where he helped build SharePoint.[2] Next, Gilchrist worked as a community organizer and director of new media for the Center for Community Change, now known as Community Change. Later, Gilchrist worked for in Washington, D.C., as national campaign director.[3]

In July 2014, Gilchrist moved back to Detroit, working for the city government under Chief Information Officer Beth Niblock as director of innovation and emerging technology. He created the Improve Detroit smartphone app that allows residents to report issues for the city to address.[4] He served as Founding Executive Director of the Center for Social Media Responsibility within the University of Michigan School of Information from the University of Michigan Detroit Center.[3][5]

In 2017, Gilchrist ran for Detroit City Clerk against incumbent Janice Winfrey. He lost by 1,482 votes.[3]

Gilchrist was selected as a Community Change Champion in Community Organizing in 2019 for his work to advance social and racial justice in the United States.[6]

Lieutenant Governor of Michigan[edit]

Gretchen Whitmer selected Gilchrist as her running mate in the 2018 Michigan gubernatorial election. The pair defeated the Republican ticket of Bill Schuette and Lisa Posthumus Lyons.[7][8] With Whitmer's victory, Gilchrist became the first African-American to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Michigan.[9] He took office on January 1, 2019.[10]

On April 9, 2020, Whitmer named Gilchrist as the chair of a statewide taskforce examining racial disparities in the COVID-19 pandemic.[11]

Gilchrist was named a vice-chair of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Gilchrist and his wife have three children.[3][13]

Electoral history[edit]

City Clerk of Detroit election, 2017[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Janice Winfrey 49,874 50.57%
Democratic Garlin Gilchrist 48,388 49.06%
Majority 1,486 1.51%
Turnout 98,621
Democratic hold Swing
Michigan gubernatorial election, 2018[15][16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Gretchen Whitmer
Garlin Gilchrist
2,256,791 53.34% +6.48%
Republican Bill Schuette
Lisa Posthumus Lyons
1,853,650 43.81% -7.11%
Libertarian Bill Gelineau
Angelique Chaiser Thomas
56,752 1.34% +0.21%
Constitution Todd Schleiger
Earl P. Lackie
24,701 0.58% -0.03%
Green Jennifer V. Kurland
Charin H. Davenport
28,857 0.68% +0.21%
Natural Law Keith Butkovitch
Raymond Warner
10,258 0.24% -
Majority 403,141 9.53% +5.47%
Turnout 4,231,009 34.04%
Democratic gain from Republican Swing


  1. ^ "Whitmer - Lt Governor".
  2. ^ a b Hicks, Danielle (April 5, 2018). "Alumnus Garlin Gilchrist II serves as inaugural director of U-M Center for Social Media Responsibility – The Michigan Engineer News Center". Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Livengood, Chad (April 22, 2018). "A true Detroit comeback story". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "Improve Detroit". Spring 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  5. ^ Friess, Steve (Spring 2019). "Second in Command". Michigan Alumnus. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  6. ^ "Change Champions 2019 | Center for Community Change". Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  7. ^ Oosting, Jonathan (August 19, 2018). "Whitmer taps Garlin Gilchrist II as running mate". The Detroit News. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Lawler, Emily (August 21, 2018). "5 things to know about Garlin Gilchrist II, Democratic Lt. Gov. candidate". Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  9. ^ Eggert, David (November 7, 2018). "Democrat Gretchen Whitmer wins Michigan governor race, beating Bill Schuette". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  10. ^ "Gretchen Whitmer inaugurated as Michigan's 49th governor". Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  11. ^ "Whitmer announces task force dedicated to address racial disparities during COVID-19 crisis". WXYZ. April 9, 2020.
  12. ^ "Democratic National Convention Announces 2020 Convention Officers, Schedule of Events". 2020 Democratic National Convention. July 30, 2020. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  13. ^ Daalder, Marc (August 20, 2018). "Who is Garlin Gilchrist? 9 facts about Whitmer's pick". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  14. ^ "Election summary report" (PDF). November 7, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  15. ^ "2018 Michigan Official General Election Results - 11/06/2018". Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  16. ^ "LOWV 2018.indd" (PDF). Retrieved January 1, 2019.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Brian Calley
Lieutenant Governor of Michigan