Following his column in Lansing City Pulse that analyzed “a messy Republican [gubernatorial] primary with no clear frontrunner emerging in the foreseeable future,” MIRS editor Kyle Melinn had the MIGOP’s spokesperson on the publication’s podcast to discuss the 2022 race.
The party plainly signaled the obvious, saying they “expect the potential of more candidates joining the race.” Between the major staff upheavals in James Craig’s campaign, self-funding millionaire Kevin Rinke’s recent entry into the race, Garrett Soldano’s spending $200K on TV, Tudor Dixon staying in the mix with well-attended grassroots events, and the 8 other candidates that weren’t mentioned, it’s easy to see why. This field is in disarray and far from settled.
First, the MIGOP Tried to Downplay the Fact That Craig’s Campaign Shakeup Spells Danger For the Insider Favorite’s Dysfunctional Campaign.
MELINN: Wait, so Gus, should the Republicans be concerned that the person who they thought was going to be the nominee is without their senior political consultant who helped Rick Snyder into the nomination?
MIGOP COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR GUS PORTELA: I don’t think so. I mean, if anything it speaks truly to John Yobs ability to really, you know, take an outsider candidate, just like he did with Rick Snyder, and, you know, really help them to, you know, when historic, you know, have a historic start really to a candidacy. […] You know, I expect the potential of more candidates joining the race. You know, this is a nationally targeted race, of course, and so, you know, we’ll I suspect we’ll be having more discussions about, you know, about how this race continues to develop.
Then, the MIGOP Made a Weak Attempt Distracting From the Fractured Field Growing with Rinke’s Entry
MELINN: Alright, Gus, did you watch Kevin Rinke?
PORTELA: You know, I did not. You know, I think Kevin Rinke, of course, brings a, you know, great opportunity to the table, obviously, as an outsider businessman, you know, Michigan has a clear history of electing those, those types of the last Republican governor. And, you know, like, like I said, the more candidates in the race, you know, clearly speaks to the frustration that Michiganders have with this current governor, obviously, with her policies and, and, you know, the current frustration, there’s a national level too. So I’m looking forward to seeing him develop in the race and looking forward to a great primary.
And In a Weird Turn For a Party That Has Backed One Candidate With Less Than a Year to Go Before the 2022 General Election, the MIGOP Actively Encouraged Perry Johnson And Anyone Else Listening to Hop In.
MELINN: What do you know about Perry Johnson? Gus?
PORTELA: Well, I think he is a very savvy businessman. And, you know, I heard he, you know, he was, you know, considering doing something in the next upcoming elections. […] And look, I think, I think right now, there’s, as I mentioned, there’s time, and if anyone wants to join the Republican primary, of course, you know, there’s like I said, there’s certainly time and we’ll see what happens.
Finally, the Segment Ended With Co-Hosts Kyle Melinn and John Reurink Suggesting That the MIGOP Could Frankenstein Four Candidates Together It Might Equate to One Viable Candidate.
MELINN: In General John, and what do you make of this Republican field? Because it looks like we’ve got four candidates near the top who all bring something good to the table. You got Kevin Rinke’s money. Tudor Dixon is very good with her public appearances. She does very well on media. Garrett Soldano has worked up an amazing grassroots operation. And Chief Craig has a lot of insider connections. Now the Republican Party’s got some gravitas. It seems like if you put all those people together?
REURINK: Well, you’d have a great candidate. If you could merge the four into one, it would be awesome. I think Gus is right, though, that there’s still time for somebody to come in. Although I think that window’s probably closing towards the end of the year beginning of next. And they have to come in with some resources. But I think there’s enough modeling that someone could.