By 8pm tonight, a primary that has been defined by forgeries, vampires, zombies, the unprecedented removal of both the frontrunner and the top spender, an FBI home raid and arrest, and multiple federal criminal charges will have finally come to a close.
Michiganders should keep in mind that no matter who emerges as the Republican gubernatorial nominee, this election will be a choice between continuing Governor Whitmer’s progress moving Michigan forward, or the backwards agendas pushed by the Republican candidates. Tudor Dixon, Kevin Rinke, Garrett Soldano, Ryan Kelley, and Ralph Rebandt have all spent their campaigns pushing an overlapping and dangerous wrong-for-Michigan agenda that would hurt working families.
Every candidate has emphatically pledged to enforce the 1931 near total ban that criminalizes abortion, makes felons out of nurses and doctors, and provides no exceptions for rape or incest. While Governor Whitmer has taken historic steps to protect access to abortion, these candidates will strip reproductive rights from millions of Michiganders. The Republican-controlled state legislature is considering highly punitive legislation to make the ban immediately enforceable and imprison providers for up to 20 years.
Kevin Rinke, Tudor Dixon, Ryan Kelley, and Garrett Soldano have all backed a “piss-poor public policy proposal” that would slash nearly $12 billion in funding from critical services including schools, roads, and law enforcement. Despite repeated questions to determine which critical services they would cut or how they plan to replace revenue streams to keep them operational, every candidate has consistently refused to address the devastating impact their budget plan would have on working families and Michigan as a whole.
Every gubernatorial Republican has made clear that they would reverse bipartisan progress boosting Michigan’s economy, attracting new good-paying jobs, and keeping Michigan on the cutting edge of auto manufacturing.
They panned GM’s $7 billion dollar investment in “making Michigan the ‘hub’ of electric vehicle development and manufacturing,” despite this “big win for Michigan” representing the auto giant’s “single largest investment announcement” in the company’s history.
Kevin Rinke said he would have vetoed the $400 refund checks Michigan drivers have begun receiving for every auto-insured vehicle in the state – the result of Governor Whitmer’s bipartisan auto insurance reform.
Additionally, Dixon, Soldano, Kelley, and Rinke cheered on a blockade on Ambassador Bridge that impacted $356 million of goods daily, caused the auto industry to to suffer “$299.9 million in direct losses,” and force assembly plants at GM and Ford to cancel shifts, which resulted in workers weathering up to $51 million in lost wages.
In addition to the drastic cuts their budget plans would impose on public education, the entire Republican gubernatorial field wants to further shortchange our students, parents, and schools by implementing a voucher system and rewriting Michigan’s constitution to siphon millions of dollars slated for public schools. This DeVos-style approach would leave our state unable to educate future generations of our workforce, severely undercutting the major steps taken by Governor Whitmer to foster a robust economic recovery.
Despite continued infrastructure gains being a top priority of Michiganders, Republican candidates have shown they would reverse the historic progress Governor Whitmer has made on fixing Michigan’s roads and bridges. Several months on the trail have not yielded anything approaching leadership on this critical issue.
Though Michigan’s election results were certified years ago and have subsequently been backed up by more than 250 audits across the state since, all five GOP gubernatorial candidates have either stoked distrust around our democratic processes or committed to support legislation that will make it harder for all Michiganders to vote.
One of them is known and charged insurrectionist Ryan Kelley, who had his home raided by the FBI and was arrested on multiple criminal charges. Every other Republican gubernatorial candidate and both MIGOP co-chairs “rushed” to his defense on the day of his arrest – despite knowing it was for participating in the violent insurrection on January 6th that resulted in five deaths and 140 injured law enforcement officers.
Meanwhile, Kevin Rinke threw his millions behind a “flat-out false” TV ad to push completely unfounded conspiracy theories about the electoral process, baseless lies that have been equally shouldered and manufactured by Tudor Dixon and Garrett Soldano.