DETROIT (FOX 2) - Both Garlin Gilchrist and Gretchen Whitmer reserved a special thank you to the young voters that cast their ballots on election day.
During an election that was shrouded in uncertainty in the lead-up to voting day, both the governor and lieutenant governor commended young voters at college campuses in East Lansing and Ann Arbor for staying in line after polls had closed.
"I think young people who absolutely have the highest stakes in this election, we are proud of them that they chose to do it," said Gilchrist.
Several issues, including the constitutional right to an abortion were driving factors behind the surge in turnout which led to a sweep of statewide races by Democrats as well as the party taking control of both chambers of the legislature.
"Obviously, elections are important moments where the public makes a decision about their leadership, and I'm really excited about, you know, kind of what we saw yesterday. You know what, Charlie, we have stayed focused on the fundamentals. I think that it was important for people to understand the differences here in philosophy, whether it's around economic development or it is public education, or it’s about individual liberties," she said.
Democrat Elissa Slotkin, who ran in one of the country's most expensive and most competitive races, thanked young voters at Michigan State University who voted for her. The Holly Congresswoman rode a wave of momentum out of Ingham County in her victory over Republican Tom Barrett.
The race for governor was called late Tuesday night after Whitmer beat Tudor Dixon after a grueling midterm race. She called the midterms an "historic election" after Democrats swept most major races.
"And I think that really is an endorsement of the agenda that we have been able to deliver the past few years and now it's time to throw the foot on the accelerator," she said.
Other Midterm election news we're watching:
- Voters enshrine abortion in major night for ballot measures
- Democrats flip west Michigan seat while Slotkin holds on in 7th
- Balance of power: Democrats show surprising strength, leaving Control of Congress unclear
Whitmer demurred when asked about a change in the ads that were on TV near the end of the election as the campaign pivoted from Prop 3 to collaboration with Republicans.
"We stayed focused on the fundamentals," she said, adding she shares everyone's relief that election commercials are done.
When asked what she would say to Republicans, she asked them to join her.
"Come on board, let's jump in, and let's keep moving the state forward together," Whitmer said.