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Election 2018

DAVID CASSLEMAN / Interlochen Public Radio

 


Democrats have struggled to find candidates to run for office in Grand Traverse County. 

In recent elections, Democrats let most seats on the county Board of Commissioners go unchallenged. 

And only one Democrat has won a county commission race in the last decade – former county and Traverse City Commissioner Ross Richardson. 

Michigan State University sign
MSU

There are now more than 300 women and girls who claim former sports doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused them, according to their civil suit attorneys. This week Michigan State University and the victim’s attorneys returned to mediation to try to come up with a settlement.

headshot
Senate Dems

Democrat Steve Bieda of Warren had been running to replace U.S. representative Sandy Levin, who's retiring.

Now Bieda is running for Macomb County clerk.

In a statement yesterday, he said his decision was influenced by the "corruption and scandal" under former clerk Karen Spranger.

Spranger was removed from office by a judge last month.

Bieda has been a state senator since 2010 and also served as a state representative.

Shri Thanedar
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Millionaire businessman Shri Thanedar filed petition signatures Monday to appear as a candidate for governor on the Democratic primary ballot in August.

Thanedar is a PhD who made his fortune in the chemical testing industry after immigrating from India.

“In 1984, I got my green card, which made the way for me to become a U.S. citizen. So, I owe tremendously to Michigan," he says. "I want to give back. And this is my chance, so I am really excited today to make that happen.”

There is a legal question about whether Democrat Abdul El-Sayed is eligible to run for governor. But one thing that is not a question is the fact that the question is not settled, no matter how much the El-Sayed campaign might want to believe that’s the case.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Republican candidates for two of the state’s top offices will be battling for their party’s nomination until the Republican nominating convention in August. Democrats for those two offices have those months to campaign for general election votes. The question is whether that gives Democrats an advantage?

aerial view of bridge and icy water
PA3 George Degener / Wikimedia Commons

Attorney General Bill Schuette has announced plans to sue an Escanaba-based tugboat company for allegedly damaging underwater cables and a pipeline with an anchor in the Straits of Mackinac. The anchor also likely caused dents in Line 5 – the oil and gas pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy.

Michigan Radio senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talks to Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about the controversy over whether to shut down Line 5.

Abdul El-Sayed
Bridge Magazine

The state says now is not the time to rule on whether a candidate for governor is eligible to run.  

That could mean the question will wait until after Democratic voters make their choice in the primary.

The state constitution says a candidate for governor must have been a registered voter in Michigan for at least four years before the election.

Democratic hopeful Abdul El-Sayed voted in New York in 2012, and the question is whether that invalidated his Michigan voter registration until he re-registered here in 2016.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley
Michigan House Republicans

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley filed petition signatures Tuesday to appear on the Republican primary ballot in August. He’s running to replace Governor Rick Snyder, who cannot run again due to term limits.

Calley says he wants to keep up the work started by Snyder over the past seven years. He says that’s fueled Michigan’s recovery from the Great Recession.

“I’m running to continue this comeback. I’m running to add the next half a million jobs. I’m running to hit new lows in unemployment, and new highs in income growth.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The concerns of lower-wage union workers dominated a debate between the Democrats in the governor’s race Thursday night.

The Service Employees International Union sponsored the event in Detroit. Workers questioned Gretchen Whitmer, Shri Thanedar, Abdul El-Sayed, and Bill Cobbs about everything from privatized correctional services, to the lack of union representation for home health care workers.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

There was a showdown of sorts at this week’s Democratic Endorsement Convention. Young progressive activists are demanding more say in the party that’s been controlled to a great degree by labor unions. The key race of the convention was symbolic of the divide. 

Gregory Varnum / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Thousands of Michigan Democrats packed into the Cobo Center on Sunday for their endorsement convention, a day that had some rowdy and raucous moments.

Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, co-hosts of Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics, joined Stateside to discuss what the convention’s attendance suggests about Democratic engagement in November, how Dana Nessel nabbed the party endorsement for attorney general, and the shape of the governor’s race.

Sensing that legalizing marijuana in Michigan might be inevitable, some Republicans want to get in front of the issue to try to avoid political catastrophe in November.

A petition campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan has cleared a bunch of hurdles. The group pushing the initiative says they have turned in enough signatures to get on the ballot in November.

Shri Thanedar
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This week, Stateside has been talking to the Democrats running for their party’s nomination for governor.

Shri Thanedar is an Ann Arbor businessman who is primarily self-funding his campaign, and he joined Stateside’s Lester Graham to discuss his stance on the issues, as well as the latest political controversies.

a frame from the "shady schuette" ad with bill schuette in sunglasses
Calley Continues Comeback / YouTube

An attack ad against Bill Schuette is full of false statements according to Bridge Magazine’s Truth Squad. Schuette is a Republican candidate for governor. The ad comes from a Super PAC supporting one of his Republican opponents. We talked with the reporter behind the Truth Squad report.

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Election season in Michigan is heating up, even if the weather isn’t. With four months before the August primaries, and a state Democratic convention this weekend, Stateside decided it was a good time to check in with the 2018 gubernatorial candidates.

dr abdul el sayed behind a desk
Abdul for Michigan

This week, Stateside is interviewing the Democratic candidates for governor ahead of their party’s 2018 State Endorsement Convention. The gubernatorial candidates will face off in the August primaries.

Abdul El-Sayed is the former director of the Detroit Health Department. His campaign has been a little bumpy - late last month, he asked a court to rule if he's eligible to run after some elections law experts claimed he might not be.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley is running for governor. But first, he has to get the Republican nomination. His campaign is running a video ad that Bridge Magazine’s Truth Squad finds stretches the truth a bit. 

Let’s go straight to the video. Here’s the main point Brian Calley wants to make to voters.

“I was the driving force behind historic tax cuts and cast the deciding vote to balance Michigan’s budget. What happened? Half a million jobs have been created. We hit the lowest unemployment rate in seventeen years.”

The Truth Squad’s Ted Roelofs says Calley is taking a lot of credit in this ad.

Apart from school board seats and state Supreme Court judges, there are only four Michigan officeholders elected statewide: governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. We choose major party candidates for governor in the August 7 primary.

That is, if we bother to vote, which most of us don’t. Whoever wins the gubernatorial nomination gets to choose a lieutenant governor, so we have no say there.

That leaves secretary of state and attorney general. When you think of it, for most of us, the secretary of state may be the most important position. 

Democratic candidate for governor Bill Cobbs, in turquoise polo and glasses.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

2018 is an election year in Michigan, and the primaries are already four months away.

Before the campaigns get too chaotic, Stateside decided to check in with the candidates. This week, we’ll talk to the Democratic candidates ahead of the party's 2018 State Endorsement Convention. Party leaders will endorse a candidate for attorney general, secretary of state and the State Supreme Court.

The Republican candidates will stop by later this month.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This weekend Democrats will endorse a candidate for Attorney General, a candidate for Secretary of State, and candidates for State Supreme Court. Jocelyn Benson is running unopposed for Secretary of State. Three Democrats want the job of Attorney General. Below are responses (in alphabetical order of the candidates’ last name) to issues such as consumer protection, the environment, Enbridge’s Line 5 which runs under the Straits of Mackinac, and LGBTQ civil rights. 

The fight for the Democratic nod for state attorney general has gotten nasty with less than a week to go before Michigan Democrats decide on a candidate.

Elissa Slotkin
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Elissa Slotkin was twenty-five and in her second day of graduate school in New York City the day the planes slammed into the towers, and, her life, like so many others, was changed.

“I felt I had to do something in service to my country,” she said. That led to the Central Intelligence Agency and three tours of duty in Iraq, where she served with the soldiers and eventually married Colonel Dave Moore, an Apache helicopter pilot.

Virginia Gordan / Michigan Radio

Appearing today in an automotive repair shop in Southfield on the first stop of her "Fix the Damn Roads Tour," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her strategic plan for rebuilding the state's infrastructure.

Whitmer called for a bold investment in a state infrastucture bank to fix Michigan's crumbling roads, bridges and water systems.

Her plan also would build a new Soo Lock and connect more Michiganders to high-speed broadband internet.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This year, TV ad spending is spiking early among candidates running for Michigan governor.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network reports $1.7 million has been spent on TV ads to promote candidates in Michigan’s governor’s race. 

The network’s Craig Mauger says most of that spending was by Democrat Shri Thanedar, who’s poured $1.2 million into TV campaign ads since the January 1.

Democrats are practically giddy about their prospects for taking control of Congress. They see a blue wave on the horizon, and the next 225 days until November 6th cannot come soon enough for them.

Road in need of repair.
Peter Ito / Flickr

Gov. Rick Snyder says it's time to raise the federal gas tax to fix Michigan's disintegrating roads. Snyder says the state has done its part by increasing fees and fuel taxes, and local governments have come up with their own ways to increase revenue. Now, he says its the federal government's turn to step up.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether that's a realistic expectation.


Lt. Gov. Brian Calley
Michigan House Republicans

Once upon a time, there was a Republican governor of Michigan who enthusiastically endorsed his lieutenant governor as his successor. The governor was very popular.

His lieutenant governor was also respected and well-liked. He was good-looking and had an impressive background as a lawyer, FBI agent, and president of Eastern Michigan University.

dr abdul el sayed behind a desk
Abdul for Michigan

Democratic candidate for governor Abdul El-Sayed has asked a court to rule if he's eligible to run, after some elections law experts said he probably isn't. 

El-Sayed, a Michigan native, lived in New York from 2011 to 2016. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Democrats running for state Attorney General represent two wings of the party.

Dana Nessel is a self-described progressive. Pat Miles is more centrist, but he’s shifted some of his positions on issues as he’s talked to Democrats across the state.

We asked each of the candidates about asset forfeiture.

Civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize property when police think it was bought with illegally gotten money such as drug money.

But, even if those people are not convicted or even charged with a crime, they have to fight in court to get their assets back.

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