ICYMI: Republican Gubernatorial Primary Remains Both Crowded and Messy as 2022 Rapidly Approaches

“This smells a lot like a messy Republican primary with no clear frontrunner emerging in the foreseeable future.” – Kyle Melinn

Last week, MIRS editor Kyle Melinn penned an op-ed for Lansing City Pulse breaking down where the Republican primary for governor stands with just one month to go before 2022. With the field ballooning to 12 declared hopefuls, this crop of Republicans have only dragged the race rightward as attempts to prove they are the most pure extremist become more desperate by the day.

Rather than offer Michiganders clear plans to improve our infrastructure, keep our economic recovery strong, and fight for working families, these gubernatorial candidates have gravitated to divisive issues that have nothing to do with moving Michigan forward. 

Candidates like James Craig and Tudor Dixon have gone all in on anti-choice extremism that would revoke reproductive rights from Michigan women and families. Garrett Soldano and Ryan Kelley have pledged to indiscriminately slash budgets and decimate public education. All candidates have fallen on the spectrum of using baseless and repeatedly debunked allegations of fraud in order to make it harder for Michiganders to exercise their freedom to vote.

Read excerpts below from Melinn’s piece in Lansing City Pulse on the dysfunction already running rampant in the Republican primary and read the full report here:

Lansing City Pulse: Many GOP Contenders For Governor — Few With Cash Or Experience
By Kyle Melinn

If Michigan has ever had 12 major-party candidates running for governor in one election cycle, I can’t find it.

Yet, here we are, 252 days until Republican Party voters decide who will face Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the 2022 election and the GOP have an even dozen people who have filed paperwork to raise money for a gubernatorial run.

And there may be more. Perry Johnson, for example, a successful Southeast Michigan business executive, is still rumored to be giving the race a look. Who knows?

This race, at this point, is wide open. Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig came out of the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference in September as the perceived frontrunner, but he and his general consultant, John Yob, split this week.

Yob — who helped a guy named Rick Snyder become governor — doesn’t exactly have a history of abandoning or getting kicked off a winning ship.

Kalamazoo area chiropractor Garrett Soldano has amassed an impressive grassroots network that will keep him relevant to the end, but whether he can reach enough people will be his issue.

Former Southeast Michigan car dealership owner Kevin Rinke […] has no grassroots support and zero history with the Republican Party.

Tudor Dixon is great with the media and is on the obscure national conservative TV shows, but she’s spinning her tires on fundraising and needs a jolt of cash to get her name out there.

You combine the strengths of all four of those candidates together and you have a winning candidate.

But you don’t. Instead, the R’s have more candidates.

Donna Brandenburg, Mike Brown, Ryan Kelley and Ralph Rebrant. All four are running what would be a competitive state legislative race. […]

They don’t have Rick Snyder money. And they certainly don’t have Dick DeVos money.

Like Kelley, Brown or Rebrant would be very winnable legislative candidates in the right district. Neither have the juice to run for governor.

Evan Space, Austin Change, Bob Scott. Articia Bomer. God bless their hearts. 

All of these well intentioned folks would struggle to win a township trustee race. None of them have raised two nickels, figuratively speaking. If they have any support, I’m not aware of it.

There’s no Betsy DeVos here. No Ronna Romney McDaniel. There’s not even a prominent Republican legislator like former Speaker Lee Chatfield or Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey doing anything.

In fact, the only person of the 12 who has been elected to anything before is Capt. Mike. He won a couple terms on the county commission back in the day. 

What does that tell you? There’s a lot of interest in running for the top political job from a lot of people who don’t know a lot about politics. 

Those who do know something about politics want nothing to do with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the mountain of money she’s accumulating.

This smells a lot like a messy Republican primary with no clear frontrunner emerging in the foreseeable future. […]

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