The deadline has passed for candidates running for governor this year to turn in their signatures and paperwork.
As part of the weekly series MichMash, WDET’s Jake Neher and Slate’s Cheyna Roth talk about who’s in and who’s out on the Republican side.
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Republicans are down from a dozen men and women who were actively trying to get on the primary ballot to 10 who have filed all of their paperwork and signatures. Now, there’s still a possibility for challenges, that signatures could be tossed out and some candidates not make it to the primary, but for the time being we have 10 Republicans ready to battle it out to be the one candidate who challenges Democratic incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November.
Self-described quality guru Perry Johnson was the last of the candidates to file nominating petitions. He sounded pretty confident the other day when he spoke with Michigan Public Radio Network’s Colin Jackson and other reporters.
“In the end, we think we’re going to win,” he said. “So, I’m going to be here talking to all of you in the end. So, why not have an opportunity at the end for everybody see what Michigan is going to have in the future.”
The list of GOP candidates
There are 10 candidates for the party nomination. You can get a deeper look at the individual candidates in a piece reporter Jonathan Oosting recently wrote for Bridge Michigan.
Those candidates are:
- Byron Center business woman Donna Brandenburg
- Michigan State Police Captain and former Berrien County Commissioner Michael Brown
- Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig
- Conservative media personality Tudor Dixon of the Muskegon area
- Troy-based businessman Perry Johnson
- Allendale Township planning commissioner and far-right wing organizer Ryan Kelley
- Grand Haven financial adviser Michael Markey
- Farmington Hills pastor Ralph Rebandt
- Bloomfield Township businessman Kevin Rinke
- Kalamazoo-area chiropractor Garrett Soldano
“There’s just a ton of candidates here,” Oosting tells MichMash. “It’s pretty surprising, honestly, that so many — I’m told it’s a record number of candidates — were able to collect at least 15,000 signatures which you know, it’s pretty big task.”
But there’s still a way to go before the Board of State Canvassers officially approve the candidates, and Oosting says it’s likely there will be some challenges.
A lack of GOP A-listers
There are also plenty of high-profile Republican names that aren’t on the list of candidates, including former U.S. Rep. and current Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller, GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel or even state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake).
And the real question that’s going to be on everyone’s minds is — although there are a lot of candidates — are any of them the right candidate?
Whitmer has a huge war chest and is going to come out swinging. Plus, she’s got all the benefits of being an incumbent. But there’s also the drawback of being an incumbent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Republicans, this is still anybody’s game as long as they can stay on the field come August, and then November.