LANSING — Today, the Michigan Democratic Party is responding to Kevin Rinke’s gubernatorial announcement by reminding Michiganders that they deserve better than yet another untested candidate with no clear vision beyond hyperpartisan opposition to everything Governor Whitmer does. A self-funder, Rinke appears to be building the case for his candidacy solely based on his ability to buy the primary with an “initial investment” of $10 million.

Rinke’s announcement swells the candidate count of what has already become a crowded and divisive primary to 11 as Michigan Republicans have completely given themselves over to the extremist wing of the party — a point that is reflected in the current field. 

Snake oil salesman Garrett Soldano is a prolific anti-vaxxer who went out of his way to make it more difficult for Michigan to curb the impact of future public health crises. Online commentator Tudor Dixon has baselessly claimed Governor Whitmer is a representative of child-trafficking cartels. And Ryan Kelley was front-and-center of the January 6th insurrection with a depth of violence that is still being uncovered as responding police officers begin to come forward with their harrowing accounts of the brutality they suffered as they defended the U.S. Capitol building. 

With several others already in the race, this is just a brief snapshot of the fanaticism that has come to define this Republican gubernatorial primary and the MIGOP as a whole since the 2020 election concluded. Like Detroit Dodger James Craig, Rinke has failed to make clear where he stands on the issues, making him a prime target for the many purity tests already at play. Grassroots conservatives will be looking for the “right” answer on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and whether vaccines work.

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes released the following statement:

“The MIGOP must be approaching some sort of record for featuring this many candidates while also exhibiting this little substance in a gubernatorial primary. With less than a year to go until folks head to the polls, neither Kevin Rinke nor the other ten Republicans in the mix have even attempted to explain to Michiganders how they plan to maintain the rapid revitalization of our economy, safely keep our kids in school, or improve any other conceivable aspect of their lives. No amount of money Rinke throws after this vanity project will serve as a stand-in to actually addressing any of these issues.

“Our working families need a leader that is more committed to keeping them first than settling some arbitrary partisan score. That’s why Governor Whitmer has routinely worked across the aisle to deliver historic, multi-billion dollar investments into our public education system and secure crucial flood relief and local police department funding — all without raising taxes. Additionally, Whitmer has put Michigan back to work. Statewide unemployment is the lowest it has been since the pandemic began and we are currently experiencing the fastest economic growth in the Midwest.”

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