While Tudor Dixon has been catering to national special interests, Governor Whitmer’s campaign rolled out ‘Republicans for Whitmer yesterday,’ a coalition made up of over 150 Republicans – many of whom worked in the Engler and Snyder administrations – because it doesn’t take much to see that Tudor Dixon’s wrong-for-Michigan agenda would harm working families and wreck our economy.
The united, bipartisan front that stood beside Whitmer in Grand Rapids stands in stark contrast to the divisive and bitter infighting that has left Dixon flat-footed and missing from the campaign trail since the primary. Who could forget the chaotic and messy GOP nominating convention that devolved to boos and shouting for several hours?
It seems like solely prioritizing getting support from special interests and extremists isn’t working out to Dixon’s favor as members of her own party are continuing to buck her candidacy and support Governor Whitmer this fall.
REPORTER: A number of unlikely allies stood by her side at it. Today, more than 150 Republicans from across the state launched Republicans for Whitmer in an attempt to boost her reelection prospects against GOP candidate Tudor Dixon. The group includes some prominent Republican Michiganders, including Jim Haveman, who worked as the state’s Director of Community Health under John Engler and Rick Snyder’s administration. Haveman says he does not think Dixon nor her campaign understand what the job entails.
JIM HAVEMAN: Last spring, when I listened to the Republican debate, I said, none of these people have read the job descriptions. I mean, this is a tough job, not only in dealing with the legislature, dealing with the citizens in the state, proposing a budget, dealing with all the policy issues, the crises that come up, the emergencies, to speak out when things need to be said. And I didn’t see any of the Republican candidates stepping up to that. So it was an easy decision for me.
REPORTER: Haveman says he expects more Republicans to vote for Whitmer this year than in 2018.
RICK ALBIN: It was billed as a Republicans for Whitmer event, here in Grand Rapids. And indeed, there were a number of familiar faces in the crowd including a former Republican Party official, and a former member of the administration of both John Engler and Rick Snyder. Most notably, former congressman Joe Schwarz was here to endorse the governor saying that he thought she’s done a good job over the last four years. […]
ALBIN: I also talked to Schwarz who was also a former state senator, how he would have reacted to the past four years in the state legislature with this governor, and he told me that he thinks that you have to sit down and talk to one another and work across the aisle, and that this governor may have tamed this legislature to some degree. […] There were a number of people who have been involved in Republican politics over the years who are casting their support behind this Democratic governor.
MARISA OBERELE (WXMI): Judy Frey knows who she plans to support this November.
REPUBLICAN JUDY FREY: I’m a moderate Republican and I’m supporting Governor Whitmer.
OBERELE: On Monday, the Grand Rapids resident crossed party lines as did a coalition of other Republicans from across the state to show their support for Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, over Tudor Dixon, the GOP nominee.
FREY: This election is too important to just stand by and watch. This is the year that all Michiganders, including moderate Republicans must vote for the best candidate for our state to continue our progress, defend our rights…
OBERELE: The group includes some prominent Republican Michiganders, including Joe Schwarz, a former US congressman from Battle Creek. He says he appreciates Whitmer’s willingness to work across the aisle and her focus on funding public schools and higher education. According to her campaign, Whitmer signed more than 900 bipartisan bills into law over the past four years.
JOE SCHWARZ: Her first term has been superb, in my opinion, some of the things that she has done, I believe, should have been done previously and not done and…
OBERELE: Most of those in the coalition rallied with Whitmer during her 2018 campaign too, like Jim Haveman, who says he does not think Dixon nor her campaign understand what the job entails.
JIM HAVEMAN: I didn’t see any understanding of policy. I didn’t see any platform. I haven’t seen any direction, what she plans to do and it perpetuates a lot of what we’ve known as The Big Lie that has perpetuated, that government isn’t really there to make a difference in one’s lives, and I think I feel much differently about that.
REPORTER: The governor has campaigned heavily on her record in Lansing and her ability to work with Republicans in the legislature. […]
REPORTER: Jim Haveman served as a director for Michigan’s Community Health Department under two Republican governors. He doesn’t believe Republican nominee Tudor Dixon is the right person for the job.
HAVEMAN: I know what government could do to make this state better. And I just haven’t seen a platform from the candidate to make a difference.
REPORTER: Dixon declined an interview with News Channel 3.
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