Between GM making Michigan the homeplace of their historic $7 billion dollar investment into electric vehicle development and Governor Whitmer’s strong State of the State, all is forgiven if you let it slip from your mind that there is also a Republican gubernatorial primary taking place. We kept track for you.
Yes, Folks Are *Still* Jumping Into This Race
For a blissful week or so, the number of candidates locked in this crowded and messy primary hovered just under a dozen as Articia Bomer left for greener downballot pastures. But we’re back up to 12 again. The news broke yesterday that multimillionaire Perry Johnson is mounting a campaign. Conservative Nolan Finley warned “voters may find his intense sales pitch off-putting” and noted that Johnson’s entry doesn’t add any clarity to determining what, if anything, “will separate the pack.” Even Kevin Rinke doesn’t have the millionaire lane all to himself anymore.
But hey, we can think of at least one Michigander who Johnson can help given his background in the certification industry. James Craig – who by Finley’s account is running a campaign that “hasn’t moved out of first gear” – is still trying to paper over the fact that he wasn’t certified to make arrests or issue warrants for the last decade of his career despite promising to do so. Someone set up a meeting.
Everyone Under the Sun Absolutely Phoned In Their Counter Response to Governor Whitmer’s State of the State
It turns out there are worse things than silence when you’re up against a strong, principled leader sharing plans on the common-sense solutions Michiganders need to keep moving forward and upward. The handful of gubernatorial candidates that bothered to respond – Tudor Dixon, Kevin Rinke, Garrett Soldano (barely), and James Craig (at the buzzer and only after reporters openly tweeted at him reminding him to say something) – all delivered divisive, extreme messages that lacked any sort of basis in fact and had nothing to do with any of the uniting kitchen-table issues Governor Whitmer highlighted.
They notably said very little about things that all Michiganders could get behind, like Whitmer’s push to repeal the retirement tax – a huge move for retirees that “can save half a million households in Michigan an average of $1,000 a year.” And of course, despite putting resources and time into these responses, none offered anything close to a vision of how they would run things differently.
Even the MIGOP phoned it in, not bothering to give an official rebuttal. Considering that Ron Weiser has been laying low since getting censured almost a year ago for calling Governor Whitmer, Attorney General Nessel, and Secretary of State Benson “witches” that need to be “soften[ed] up” and made “ready for the burning at the stake,” and Meshawn Maddock called Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist a “scary” Black man and then accused a school district of turning students into furries (google at your own risk), benching them seemed prudent.
Additionally, since several legislative Republicans are eager to continue playing ball with Whitmer to deliver wins for our working families, we guess there truly was no one else to throw on TV after her speech.
Another County’s Republican Party Passes on James Craig
This week, Wayne County Republicans hosted James Craig for a speech, a move that the MIGOP-insider favorite touted as evidence that his campaign is reaching “every part of the state,” despite literally being in his home county. However, the reception from Hillsdale County’s Republican Party was not nearly as warm. Writing on behalf of the entire organization, their Vice Chair Lance Lashaway penned an op-ed this week for Hillsdale Daily News warning readers that Craig and other “establishment” Republicans “are not patriots.”
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Late last year, Muskegon County’s GOP approved a resolution outright “opposing MIGOP promoting gubernatorial candidate James Craig for governor.” Cited grievances included: not “abid[ing] in America or Michigan First priorities” and “giving conflicting statements on gun ownership.” We thought the whole point of a coronation was that it wasn’t supposed to be this hard.