Exactly One Week Out From the “Farce” Republican Gubernatorial Primary, a Reminder From Detroit Free Press That the Entire Field Has Been “Pitiful,” and “Extreme”

“…It is hard to recall when either [party] has presented options as unpalatable as those confronting Republican voters in this year’s gubernatorial primary.” – Detroit Free Press

Following the unprecedented removal of both the frontrunner and the top spender and the introduction of vampires, zombies, multiple federal criminal charges, and overlapping wrong-for-Michigan agendas, a lengthy and chaotic Republican gubernatorial primary will be coming to a close in a week’s time. 

Despite the fact that five candidates will be on next Tuesday’s ballot, every remaining choice is “pitiful,” “unpalatable,” and “extreme,” according to what is essentially a non-endorsement of out-of-touch millionaire Kevin Rinke from Detroit Free Press’ editorial board.

Tudor Dixon and Ryan Kelley were both noted for their “determination to criminalize abortion without exceptions,” along with their “appetite for outlandish conspiracy theories popular with their party’s lunatic fringe.” Meanwhile, Garrett Soldano was highlighted for his continued crusade to pursue a “forensic audit” that he swears will reveal the certified 2020 elections results were “counterfeit.”

The Press’ assessment of Rinke wasn’t much more optimistic.

Rinke was once again called out for promoting a budget plan that would primarily benefit “the affluent ones who would profit most handsomely.” As he has throughout this cycle, the used Toyota dealer still “won’t identify a single government service he’d cut to compensate for the $12 billion hole” his proposal would impose on critical services like law enforcement, public education, and infrastructure.

See excerpts below from Detroit Free Press on the “farce” the Republican gubernatorial primary has become and read the full tepid endorsement here.

Detroit Free Press Editorial Board: Endorsement: Kevin Rinke is Republicans’ Safest Bet in a Pitiful GOP Field

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that the contest for Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial primary has become a farce, and that none of the five candidates left on the Aug. 2 primary ballot (after fully half the crowded GOP field was disqualified for petition fraud) is prepared to become this state’s chief executive. […]

For reasons articulated below, we believe KEVIN RINKE is the least dangerous choice for Republican voters with no good options in the next month’s primary.

Let’s concede, in the interests of candor, that the odds that the Free Press Editorial Board will endorse the GOP primary winner in a general election faceoff with incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are vanishingly slim.  

But that is not because we are in the bag for whomever Democrats care to nominate, as those with short memories sometimes allege.

Indeed, our editorial board has endorsed the Republican nominee for governor in three of the last six election cycles: […]

Four years ago, we endorsed Democrat Gretchen Whitmer in her successful bid to succeed Snyder, and we believe she has done a creditable job leading Michigan in the face of a Republican-led Legislature that churlishly fought the public health precautions she imposed to blunt the pandemic. More recently, she has led the campaign to protect women from an archaic and dangerous abortion ban revived by the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Even so, Michigan voters would benefit if Republicans nominated an experienced and credible candidate to challenge Whitmer’s bid for re-election.

That, alas, is not in the cards this year.

Both parties have fumbled statewide elections before (See Fieger campaign referenced above), but it is hard to recall when either has presented options as unpalatable as those confronting Republican voters in this year’s gubernatorial primary. […]

Tudor Dixon, 44, and Ryan Kelley, 40, share backgrounds in entertainment, a determination to criminalize abortion without exceptions, and an appetite for outlandish conspiracy theories popular with their party’s lunatic fringe. […]

Ryan Kelley, who faces trial later this year on misdemeanor charges stemming from his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, wants the results of Michigan’s 2020 election “decertified.” Another candidate, Garrett Soldano, proposes “a forensic audit” of Michigan ballot records to investigate Trump’s unfounded allegations that Biden’s 150,000 vote victory in our state was counterfeit. […]

His enthusiasm for slashing taxes and eliminating regulations should appeal to traditional Republicans — especially the affluent ones who would profit most handsomely from his proposal to eliminate Michigan’s income tax.

A family earning $60,000 would save $2,338 a year if legislators agreed to scrap the income tax; a family earning $1 million would save more than $42,000. Rinke nevertheless scoffed at our suggestion that ending the income tax would disproportionately benefit the state’s wealthiest residents: “They pay most of the taxes,” he said.

We’ll be alarmed if Rinke’s proposal turns out to be more than a bumper sticker slogan. But since he won’t identify a single government service he’d cut to compensate for the $12 billion hole his tax-cutting scheme would blow in Michigan’s annual budget, we’re inclined to take it no more seriously than any other unfunded spending proposal. […]

So we warily recommend Kevin Rinke as the Republican gubernatorial hopeful least likely to lead his party even deeper into the authoritarian abyss its most extreme elements want to plumb.

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