With Five Months to Go Until the Republican Gubernatorial Primary, February Was Another Rough Month for the Crowded Field of 14

Last month, the Republican primary for governor was messier than usual and became even more crowded with the addition of off-kilter millionaire Perry Johnson. According to MIRS, the 14-candidate field is now “pretty much set as far as serious candidates,” but the race itself is far from settled exactly five months out from when voters cast ballots in August. With the following major blunders that took place in February alone, it’s easy to see why MIGOP insiders are once again looking for a silver bullet candidate to turn this mess around.

James Craig’s Lashes Out at Law Enforcement

James Craig’s biggest news this month was penning a fundraising letter saying that he thinks MSP troopers are a bunch of “weak-kneed…underlings” who “abandon[ed] their jobs” to operate as cronies. 

The only weak knees we see are in Craig’s poor attempt to lie about it. Despite the letter in question bearing his signature, sporting language detailing it was paid for by the campaign, and directing donations to his campaign’s PO box, his spokesperson was unable to say “the letter is a forgery, or that it was not sent on behalf of the campaign, [and] …would not respond when asked if he was saying the letter was a fake.”

A number of unnamed “observers” on James Craig’s side of the aisle told Gongwer he’s “in serious trouble…the race is wide open.” Even his former consultant John Yob got a swipe in, dispatching Craig as a supporting cast member of the “failed field of candidates [that] …have failed to inspire support.”

Garrett Soldano Solidified His Status as the Prime Anti-Choice Extremist

A tough bar to clear given this particular crop of gubernatorial Republicans. Early in February, Garrett Soldano went viral for stating that women who are raped should not be able to have abortions because “God put them in this moment” and it would make them “heroic.” James Craig then jumped to his defense to agree with his extreme and dangerous position on abortion that will do immeasurable harm to Michigan women, families, and victims of sexual assault. 

Top Candidates Stood Firmly Against Michigan’s Economy, the Auto Industry, and its Workers

The Ambassador Bridge blockade did significant damage to Michigan’s economy with$356 million of goods not being able to cross the bridge daily. GM and Ford assembly plants were forced to cancel shifts, Michigan workers suffered over  $51 million in lost wages, and the auto industry lost $300 million. Despite these clear negative impacts on working families, Republican gubernatorial candidates were all too happy to support it. 

Kevin Rinke released a video applauding the blockade grinding commerce and manufacturing to a halt. Rinke has previously made his opposition to Michigan’s strong auto industry clear when he came out against the historic $7 billion GM investment

James Craig threw his support behind this major economic chokehold on Michigan and encouraged it to continue. 

Garrett Soldano also took a stand against Michigan’s working families with a video applauding the blockade and referring to the protestors as “true freedom fighters” with contagious courage.

Tudor Dixon and Mike Brown tweeted their support for the blockade, while Ryan Kelley stood on a highway leading to the border to show his solidarity.

Perry Johnson and His Millions Have Only Added More Chaos to This Volatile Race

Off-kilter millionaire Perry Johnson may be new to the race, but the extreme stances he’s using to elevate his candidacy aren’t. Like James Craig did for several months after becoming a candidate, Johnson originally dodged the major litmus test question of if he believes the 2020 general election was legitimate, but not before using “misinformation about the election as justification for why he would support voter ID mandates.” He has however since gone all in on his commitment to further dismantle public trust in our elections by endorsing Republican Matthew DePerno, infamous election conspiracy theorist, for Attorney General.

Johnson also established himself as an anti-abortion extremist, declaring that he was pro-life and would not make exceptions for rape or incest because “two wrongs don’t make a right,” putting him in line with every other candidate in the race. And equally in step with Craig, Tudor Dixon, and Kevin Rinke, Johnson also argued that Michigan should remove “all barriers” to dismantling public education.

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