This Valentines Day, MDP is highlighting what some of the candidates have shown they love most after months of this crowded and messy primary. 

James Craig

As James Craig’s campaign continues to stumble,, it has been marked by promises that he failed to keep, a focus on issues in other states instead of Michigan, and lackluster fundraising.

He said he would hold a statewide “listening tour” that “apparently never materialized.” Then he got caught breaking his own promise to get certified to make arrests as Detroit police chief. Then he got caught giving paid speeches to and accepting plum board positions from yet to be disclosed entities. Then he got caught blowing nearly $1,000 a day on private security despite barely holding any campaign events – a “pretty unusual” service that Craig spent even more on in the most recent reporting quarter. He also got exposed for being a registered Democrat for long after he’s been saying he switched parties.

Kevin Rinke

Millionaire and Toyota salesman Kevin Rinke continues to display to Michigan working families just how out-of-touch he is as one of the two wealthy candidates trying to buy their way through this primary. He’s a staunch opponent of the $400 refund checks going directly to Michigan drivers for every auto-insured vehicle in the state – following the bipartisan auto insurance reform led by Governor Whitmer.

He then voiced his disapproval of GM’s decision to invest in Michigan, claiming that the massive job-creating deal was somehow reflective of the state not having a “properly constructed business climate.” And as the blockade on Ambassador Bridge impacted $356 million of goods that typically travel daily and forced Michigander auto workers out of work as they lost $51 million in wages, Rinke released a video applauding the blockade grinding commerce and manufacturing to a halt. 

Perry Johnson

Like Rinke, Perry Johnson is hoping that money can be a stand-in for support from Michigan working families, a point that James Craig is already going after him for despite getting in the race just a couple weeks ago. As the only candidate to pay for an ad that aired during the Super Bowl, it appears that no lane in this crowded primary can be claimed by any one Republican, even the self-funding one.

Tudor Dixon

Despite every Republican in this primary going above and beyond to show just how extreme they are, Tudor Dixon has managed to emerge as the most dedicated to the dangerous crusade to rip public education down to the studs.

Last year, she voiced her support for “the latest effort by legislative Republicans to create a school voucher system in Michigan” and vowed to sign the attempt to privatize education and steal $500 million annually from public schools into law as governor.

Dixon also announced that repealing Michigan’s constitutional ban on using public money for private education was a top priority for her campaign. That would then allow her to implement her disastrous plan to strip funding from public schools. 

And in the case of Michigan Strong, an aligned super PAC that she previously leaned on in a “brazen” move to juice her weak fundraising, Dixon has gone on the attack against Kevin Rinke. In the past month, Michigan Strong has released an ad and microsite highlighting Rinke’s several workplace harassment and racial discrimination lawsuits.

Garrett Soldano

Garrett Soldano catapulted himself into the anti-choice Hall of (In)fame for stating that women who are raped should be forced to bring their pregnancies to term because “God put them in this moment” and it would make them “heroic,” and then suggesting that fake crisis pregnancy centers that use manipulative tactics to push an anti-choice agenda should receive taxpayer funding.

But before that, the snake oil salesman made his name the old-fashioned way: being an unmitigated election conspiracy theorist and anti-vaxxer. 

He was banned from YouTube for “making videos that contained false messaging against COVID-19” and “unsubstantiated claims about the pandemic, including, those who have suffered with COVID-19 don’t need to be vaccinated.”

And in his desperate crusade to relitigate the 2020 election, Soldano has remained hell-bent on putting the state through a costly and unnecessary Arizona-style audit in spite of the fact that “there have been more than 250 audits of Michigan’s election and all of them have confirmed the 2020 Election was secure.” 

Ryan Kelley

Ryan Kelley was on the ground for the violent January 6th insurrection that killed five and injured 140 officers in Washington D.C, one of the thousands spurred on by the belief that the White House was stolen from former President Trump. In one video he can even be heard shouting, “Come on, let’s go! This is it! This is– this is war, baby!” as he moves along with a crowd of rioters towards the U.S. Capitol and other “images [show] him deep in the fray of rioters.”

But the treason and efforts to further erode public trust in elections and incite mass instances of criminal activity in voting precincts across Michigan don’t end there. A few weeks ago, Kelley actively encouraged attendees at a campaign event to tamper with voting machines, urging people to unplug them “if you see something you don’t like happening.”

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