LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Thanks to the governor’s pardon, Grand Rapids turkey Mitch E. Gander was named out of more than 6,000 turkey names submitted.

The name Mitch E. Gander was submitted by Seneca from Grand Rapids and Mia from Harper Woods.

The lucky turkey is the first turkey to be pardoned since Whitmer entered office.

The governor had plenty of puns about turkeys and Thanksgiving to go around.

“For many Michiganders, the week before Thanksgiving is stuffed with holiday activities, meal prep, and time with family. But before we gobble down our Thanksgiving meal and baste in the glow of family and friends, it’s important to take time to reflect on everything we are grateful for. Our family, friends, and loved ones, even though they might ruffle our feathers sometimes. Michigan’s health care professionals, armed service members, volunteers, and everyone who works hard to make our state better. I am proud to pardon Mitch E. Gander, and I wish every Michigander a great Thanksgiving.”  

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

The runner-up names include: 

  • Tahquamenon Tom from Kerry, Chesterfield, and Ben in Ann Arbor 
  • Turcules from Jack in Brighton 
  • Otto Moe Beel from David in Ann Arbor 
  • Ryan Gobbling from Christian in Ishpeming 
  • Simon Fowl from Jennifer in Taylor 
  • Lynyrd from Dorothy, Chelsea, and Mike in Alpena 
  • Mack E. Gnaw from the Hayes family in Cadillac 
  • Roger Featherer from Joan in Kalamazoo 
  • Steve Thighzerman from Sean in Ypsilanti 
  • Tom Thanks from Sean in Ypsilanti and Elarose in Big Rapids 
  • Teddy Roostavelt from Michelle in Manistee