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Election 2018

Gretchen Whitmer, currently the leading Democratic candidate for governor, told me something yesterday at the Mackinac Policy Conference that caught me by surprise: “You know, when you look at all of the candidates in the race, I’m the one that looks most like John Engler.”

State Senator Patrick Colbeck
www.senatorpatrickcolbeck.com/photowire

There are 17 months before Michigan's gubernatorial race, and an already crowded field of candidates has grown by one.

Patrick Colbeck, a conservative state senator who has opposed Gov. Rick Snyder on Medicaid expansion and higher fuel taxes to better fund roads, announced Thursday that he has filed paperwork to seek the governorship.

Snyder, a Republican, cannot run again for the state Senate due to term limits.

Colbeck was first elected to the Senate in the 2010 tea party wave.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The increasingly crowded field of candidates running for Michigan governor in 2018 may grow by one more later today.

Then again, it may not.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has long been seen as a potential candidate to succeed his boss, Gov. Rick Snyder, who’s time in the governor’s office is winding down because of term limits.

A ballot campaign to make Michigan a part-time Legislature state could be on the horizon - an effort, perhaps, to make state government more efficient, but the effort carries at least a whiff of gubernatorial politics.

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

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee's decision to stay out of the Democratic race for Michigan's governor makes the field a little less crowded, but there's still competition for a spot on next year's ballot. 

Last week, Stateside spoke with Democratic candidate Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the former head of the Detroit Health Department.

Today, Gretchen Whitmer joined the show. Whitmer served for 14 years in the Michigan House and Senate, including four years as Senate Minority Leader. She was the interim prosecutor for Ingham County during the last half of 2016. She kicked off this year by announcing her run for governor in 2018.

A petition campaign that collapsed in scandal last year is re-launching and some GOP leaders are concerned the issue could threaten Republican control over Lansing.

Michigan still has one of the highest rates of juvenile lifers in the country.
Thomas Hawk / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Senate subcommittee has passed a budget cutting the Department of Corrections' budget by $40 million. The department says that would mean cutting jobs and programs to fight recidivism. Both Republicans and Democrats want to see lower prison populations.

Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss whether this plan could get bi-partisan support.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Congressman Dan Kildee's decision to not seek the Democratic nomination for governor has changed the playing field for existing and potential candidates.

And that includes Dr. Abdul El-Sayed.

Michiganders could decide next year whether to legalize marijuana in the state and many politicos are wondering how that ballot question could affect the 2018 election.

A third Snyder term?

Apr 17, 2017

Rick Snyder cannot run for governor again because he’s term-limited.

But that doesn’t mean Michigan’s CEO Governor isn’t working on a succession plan. Snyder’s Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley seems to be making moves toward a run for the top job.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report finds roughly $40 million was spent on Michigan’s 14 Congressional races in 2016.  $9.4 million was spent in just one Michigan Congressional race, the battle for the formally vacant seat representing the U.P. and northern Michigan.

“That’s a large sum of money considering the fact that really none of these 14 Congressional races were that close in Michigan in 2016,” says Craig Mauger, the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.  

Will President Trump’s Twitter rage be turned against Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator if Debbie Stabenow votes against his nominee for the Supreme Court? And would it make a difference?

(Support trusted journalism like this in Michigan. Give what you can here.)

In elections, it’s all about who shows up.

And last year, Democrats didn’t.

The Democrats’ historic loss in Michigan is due pretty much to the fact that too many voters who would typically vote Democratic simply sat out Election 2016. While Republicans, true to form, showed up at the polls.

Trump supporters
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Organizers expect thousands of Michiganders will take part in rallies across the state tomorrow in support of President Trump.

Anti-Trump protests have dominated the news for months.

Michigan rally organizer Meshawn Maddock says this weekend’s events are intended to show the president is “loved."

“If you watch nothing but mainstream media, it does feel like overwhelmingly people are dissatisfied,” says Maddock, “and those of us who support the president, and walk every day among each other, know that that’s not true.”

State House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) is figuring out his next move after his income tax rollback tanked in the House last week. It was an embarrassing defeat largely the result of putting the bill up before the Speaker knew the votes were there. And he ran into a hard-dozen fellow Republicans who, along with all but one of the Democrats, torpedoed what was supposed to be a marquee moment in the early days of this session.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

The Department of Homeland Security revealed dramatic changes to its policies on Tuesday. This Week in Michigan Politics, Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about what those changes could mean in Michigan, where a number of cities have sanctuary measures in place or are considering them.

Gary Johnson
Gage Skidmore / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state primary is still 18 months away, but Michigan Libertarians are taking steps to get ready now.

In November, presidential candidate Gary Johnson received more than 170,000 votes in Michigan. That was plenty to qualify Libertarians as a major party in the state's 2018 primary.

But there's a lot of work left to do for the party to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Members recently held a special convention to vote on new bylaws to bring the party in line with state election laws.

Tamekia Ashford / Detroit Health Department

Detroit's Public Health Director is running for Governor in 2018.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed made his announcement after resigning from his health position on Monday. The 32 year-old former Rhodes scholar hopes to center his campaign around inclusion and equality in Michigan communities. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

National Democratic Party leaders will gather in Detroit today to discuss the party’s future direction.

Party leaders are still assessing their setbacks from the 2016 election, and looking ahead to 2018 and beyond.

The forum will feature several candidates for the party’s open chairman seat. Among them is Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana

He thinks the party needs a fresh start, by focusing more attention on local and state-level politics.

Michigan Republican Party

His only opposition bowed out of the race last weekend. Now, University of Michigan Regent Ron Weiser is in line to succeed Ronna Romney McDaniel as chairman of Michigan's Republican Party.

McDaniel is the new head of the Republican National Committee.

Weiser was state party chair from 2009-11 and he joined Stateside to talk about the job, the state of the Republican Party and why it was "duty not desire" that drove him back to the chairman role.

MichiganDems.com

There is no way to sugar-coat the results of the November election if you're a Democrat. It was a disaster, anyway you cut it.

How do Democrats regroup, re-calibrate and rebuild?

That's the job of the Chairman of Michigan's Democratic Party Brandon Dillon and he joined Stateside to talk about it.

The new president, Congress and state Legislature still haven’t been sworn in but Campaign 2018 is already underway.

Former state Senator Gretchen Whitmer is the “first” candidate to launch a 2018 campaign for governor of Michigan. Whitmer is a Democrat who spent more than a dozen years in the state Legislature before being term-limited out in 2014.

flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The 2017 year is just a few days old, and we're already looking ahead to 2018.

In Michigan, that will mean a new governor to replace term-limited Rick Snyder.

On Tuesday, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer became the first candidate to step forward into the ring. The former Senate minority leader filed the paperwork with the Secretary of State which allows her to set up a committee to run for governor.

http://whitmer.senatedems.com/

Former state Senator Gretchen Whitmer is the first candidate to formally announce that she will run for governor of Michigan in 2018. The former Senate Democratic leader sent an e-mail today declaring her plans.

The job will be open because Michigan’s term limits do not allow Republican Governor Rick Snyder to run again.

Whitmer may have competition for the Democratic nomination as Congressman Dan Kildee weighs a bid. On the Republican side, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley are potential candidates. 

After Tuesday’s historic election, Republicans will continue their firm control of Lansing.

Going into last week, predictions, even among Republicans, were that the GOP would lose at least some seats in the state House of Representatives. There were times, in fact, during the campaign, that some even wondered whether Democrats might take control of the House.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

In this Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the results of Election 2016, now that the dust has had time to settle.


Marijuana advocates collected more than 300,000 signatures earlier this year, only to have them rejected for failing to meet a state rule on collecting signatures.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan marijuana advocates say legalization may be an “easier sell” after ballot victories in California and other states on Tuesday.

MI-Legalize executive director Jeff Hank is feeling good these days.

“The next election’s already started for us,” Hank says with a laugh.

Voters in Midland cast ballots for Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians on Tuesday.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Libertarian Party didn’t win many races Tuesday, but the party received more votes than it has in the past.

Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson picked up nearly 170,000 votes in Michigan. Many local candidates did very well too. Some getting more than 5% of the votes cast in their races.

“These are not wins,” says Bill Gelineau, Michigan’s Libertarian Party chairman. “This doesn’t mean that we’re sitting in the Legislature. But it does mean that we’re becoming a bigger and bigger part of the conversation.”

After tomorrow's congressional and legislative primaries, just 97 days remain until Election Day 2016. Of course, it's never too early to look ahead to the 2018 elections and, at least one petition campaign is already making plans in that direction.

  Michigan delegates to the Republican National Convention are focused on picking a presidential nominee.  

But some of them are also thinking about the Michigan governor’s race in 2018.

The house band at the House of Blues played oldies Sunday night while Michigan delegates mixed and mingled.  

The event was one of many during the lead-up to the four-day Republican National Convention in Cleveland. It was hosted by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

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