LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Even though the next race for governor is not until 2026, there’s news that an Oakland County state senator is interested in being Michigan’s governor.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer can’t run for re-election and so that open seat will attract a whole host of Democrats and Republicans eager to replace her.

Second-term State Senator Mallory McMorrow is clearly interested, although she has said nothing about this.

Despite a lack of explicit stated interest, her team has looked at all the factors that could eventually lead to her getting into the race.

The first advantage she has access to an impressive donor list, not from just Oakland County, but nationwide.

During a senate debate over the gay rights issue last April, GOP senator Lana Theis accused Sen. McMorrow of wanting to “groom and sexualize children” in an email campaign solicitation.

Speaking directly to Theis, the senator delivered a fiery and passionate response on the Senate floor that went viral with 15.2 million clicks.

“I am the biggest threat to your hallow hateful scum,” McMorrow declared. “I know who I am and what faith and service means– what it calls for in this moment, we will not let hate win.”

In the first 24 hours after the video hit the Internet, 6,200 contributors sent $250,000 to the senator’s campaign fund, and in all, there were 11,000 donors from all fifty states kicking in $1.3 million in three months, creating a potential donor list for a run for governor.

She got valuable nationwide media exposure on cable TV, in the New York Times, and other publications, all combining to skyrocket her name recognition among voters in this state, just in case she does run.

With Whitmer unable to run, it’s likely that mostly men, including Detroit mayor Mike Duggan might get into the race. That leaves McMorrow as the only woman or among a few women who might run for the governor’s post

Because voters have a habit of electing a governor and then voting for them again, the senator knows it’s that time is of the essence. The 36-year-old knows she could do that, but her valuable donor list could dwindle in the meantime, along with her recognizable name, face, and words from that viral video.

No decision has been made just yet. McMorrow will take the next year to sort things out.

While there are no bumper stickers yet, don’t be shocked in 2026 to see one that reads ‘McMorrow For Governor.’