One Year Out: Gubernatorial Primary

One year from today, Michigan voters will go to the polls and vote in their respective parties’ primary elections. One notable race on the primary ballot will be the race for Governor of Michigan. Incumbent Governor Rick Snyder is term-limited, leaving an open seat. Here are the candidates (and potential candidates) running to be Governor of Michigan.

Democrats

Gretchen Whitmer

Gretchen Whitmer is a former Michigan Senate Minority Leader. She has served an extensive political career as a state representative (2001-2006), as a state senator (2006-2015), and as Ingham County Prosecutor (2016). While in the legislature, she fought against Right-to-Work and numerous other conservative bills. Michigan Republicans have painted Whitmer as another version of former Governor Jennifer Granholm. Earlier this year, she spoke at the March on Lansing (the equivalent to the Women’s March on Washington).

Abdul El-Sayed

Abdul El-Sayed served as Executive Director of the Detroit Health Department and as Health Officer of the City of Detroit from 2015 until this year. He resigned when he started his gubernatorial campaign. El-Sayed is a leftist similar to Bernie Sanders, and he has received the endorsement of Linda Sarsour, a Sharia apologist and Women’s March organizer.

Shri Thanedar

Shri Thanedar is an Indian-American scientist and entrepeneur. He labels himself a progressive Democrat, with policy positions similar to those of El-Sayed. Shri has been able to invest his personal fortune into his campaign, but money does not buy votes.

Geoffrey Fieger

Geoffrey Fieger is an attorney from Southfield. He has long been a public advocate for progressive or liberal policies, using his law firm’s YouTube Channel and TV advertising to blast Republicans and praise Democrats. Fieger ran for governor in 1998, but lost to incumbent John Engler by 24 points. Although, Fieger has not announced a campaign for governor, he is reportedly considering one.

Republicans

Jim Hines

Jim Hines is a medical doctor who is running as a conservative outsider for governor. He started his campaign in 2016, with very little to show for the early launch. His website is sub-par, and he has polled very low, compared to some candidates who have not even announced yet.

Patrick Colbeck

Patrick Colbeck has served as a state Senator since 2011. Prior to his election to the state Senate, Colbeck was an aerospace engineer, working for NASA and other organizations. He also owned a small business. During his tenure as senator, Colbeck has led the fight on many conservative reforms, including Right-to-Work and market solutions to healthcare.

Bill Schuette

Bill Schuette has been the Attorney General of Michigan since 2011. He has held many public offices throughout his career, including Congressman, Michigan’s Director of Agriculture, state Senator, and Judge for the state Court of Appeals. Schuette has not made an official campaign announcement yet, but he has spoken a great deal about the kind of governor he thinks Michigan needs. It appears that he is poised to make an announcement on September 12, at his annual barbecue in Midland.

Brian Calley

Brian Calley is the Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, serving alongside Governor Snyder since 2011. Before he was elected to that office, Calley served two terms in the state House of Representatives. He ran commercials this spring advertising a big announcement on May 30, that many thought would be a gubernatiorial campaign announcement. Instead, Calley announced a campaign to reform state government, focusing on a part-time legislature. Calley is still expected to run for governor, perhaps using the Clean Michigan Government efforts to lead into a campaign announcement.

Although Rick Snyder has done some good things for our state, there are many areas where he failed conservatives and the state in general. I hope we can replace him with a good, solid conservative, who will actually sign conservative bills as Governor.


The U.S. Senate primary will also be held on August 7, 2018. See my summary of that race here.

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