Mallory McMorrow goes viral

M.M. for Governor?

No, not Mickey Mouse.

If the Oakland County Democratic rising political star ends up running for governor, she could send a thank you note to GOP state Sen. Lana Theis for helping to change the dialogue from “Mallory who?” to national recognition, especially in the LGBTQ community, for Mallory McMorrow.

After the conservative Sen. Theis accused her colleague of wanting to “groom and sexualize” children, McMorrow gave a fiery and passionate retort on the state Senate floor that immediately went viral. There were 15.2 million clicks, and a resulting $1 million-plus in contributions, including 6,200 donors who kicked in $250,000 one day after the speech.

There were reports that Sen. Theis raised $235.

McMorrow quickly made the rounds of the late night TV shows and liberal podcasts, was written up in the New York Times and the Atlantic magazine, not to mention facetime on MSNBC and a personal phone call from the man who works in the White House.

So, with all that political exposure in the bank, it is only natural that the conversation would eventually turn to what’s next after her current state Senate term expires.

Running for governor has clearly been discussed, but, obviously, no decisions have been made, as she will reportedly take the next year to sort all that out. She has already rejected overtures to run for the U.S. Senate to replace outgoing veteran U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

If you look at the tea leaves on the governor front, her team can make the case for her candidacy, starting with the fact it’s an open seat because Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will be term-limited. And, with Michigan voters pretty much locked in with giving a sitting governor a second term, if she wants to do it, it’s 2026 or wait another eight years. At age 36, she could wait, but, by then, “Who will remember her?,” some might ask, despite her instant fame, and that donor list could lose some of its glow.

The Democratic field for governor next time could be crowded, as others — mostly males — will be interested. However, if she is the lone female or close to that, she has a built-in voter advantage to become the third female chief executive in state history.

On the money front, you can assume that stashed away someplace are all of those emails and checks from those 11,000 donors in all 50 states. It would make an enviable foundation for what will likely be an expensive primary and general election campaign, if she gets that far.

She also resides in Democratic-vote-rich Oakland County, which has gone so blue that former GOP County Executive Brooks Patterson must be spinning in his you-know-what. Chances are, as Johnny Mathis says, a whole host of those soccer moms would line up to help elect the county’s favorite sister.

There is already M.M. chatter out there among Democrats, including at the recent Democratic Legacy annual dinner, where her possible bid for governor was one topic of discussion. She confirmed nothing but smiled nonetheless.

There’s no rush, here, and, for her part, she is not saying squat.

However, if you asked some of the players in town who watch this stuff like a hawk, you’d probably have to look long and hard to find someone who would say she doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of running and winning.

So don’t be shocked in 2026 if you see a bumper sticker: McMorrow for governor.


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