By DAVID EGGERT Associated Press
Democrats are putting Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on the national stage Tuesday to rebut President Donald Trump’s State of the Union message. By elevating a fresh face and casting an election-year spotlight on the Midwest, the party looks to win back states Trump narrowly captured. The 48-year-old’s ascendance comes as Democrats hope to solidify gains with female voters and as two men in their late 70s, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, lead national primary polls. Whitmer’s selection has led to increased speculation that she could be a running mate pick, though she has said she is not interested.