This weekend, Michigan Democrats and Republicans will meet to pick their nominees for various elected offices this fall, throw their hats into the air with a collective “hurrah” and pat each other on the back for their brilliance.
Conventions are designed to unite the factions of a party and get members excited about campaigning for their picks on the ballot.
This year the big focus will be around the gubernatorial candidates, but there is the more pressing matter of nominating candidates for offices further down the ticket.
Democrats have already all but locked in their statewide ticket, having selected their choices for attorney general and secretary of state at the party’s endorsement convention earlier this year.
Attorney and activist Dana Nessel is expected to be Democrats’ nominee for attorney general. The secretary of state nomination is expected to go to former Wayne State University Law School Dean Jocelyn Benson, who is now CEO and executive director of the Ross Initiative in Sports and Equality.
The situation is more fluid for Republicans, who have a contested, hard-fought race brewing for attorney general between state House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) and state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton). There’s also a contested face for the secretary of state nomination between Grosse Pointe Farms businesswoman Mary Treder Lang and Michigan State University professor Joseph Guzman.
Maybe the most intriguing absence from this year’s GOP convention will be Gov. Rick Snyder, who still has not endorsed party nominee Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette after a contentious primary battle against Snyder’s Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. The governor’s office says he has a scheduling conflict.
Click on the audio player above to hear that conversation.