In the last few weeks, the Michigan Republican Governoral Primary was in chaos. The Great Lakes State voters have less than a month left to choose who they will nominate for the nomination.
Perry Johnson (a businessman) and James Craig (ex-Detroit Police Chief), were the two most likely to win the GOP Primary. But fraudulent petition signatures barred them and three other GOP candidates from appearing on August 2.
In a wide-open race, five of the candidates that qualified have now been put in the spotlight. These are the Michigan Republican candidates who want to challenge Gretchen Whitmer (D), the nation’s most famous governor.
Ryan Kelley has experienced more drama and controversy than any candidate in the chaotic Michigan primaries. The FBI arrested Ryan Kelley, a Grand Rapids real estate broker in connection with his participation at the Capitol Riot in Washington D.C. on January 6. A federal judge then ordered that he surrender his firearms as he awaits his trial.
Kelley isn’t distracted by the events that have been unfolding around him, as he remains focused on the race. Recent polling has shown him to be the top candidate for the GOP Nomination.
Kelley runs for Governor not just because he hopes Michigan improves, but because he thinks the whole country is headed in bad directions.
“I’m in this race because I love this country,”He spoke to The Daily Wire. “I love our republic. I want to fight for our Constitution and for freedom for the next generation.”
During the COVID pandemic and Whitmer’s ensuing lockdowns, Kelley led protests and rallies against the governor’s measures — another reason he cited for jumping into the race. “You get Gretchen Whitmer back in there, you can expect more of the same and without concern of having to be reelected again at any point in the future,”He disagreed.
Kelley is aware that the road to defeating an incumbent governor can be difficult. It’s been nearly 60 years since a Michigan governor lost a reelection bid after one term, but he remains hopeful that voters will look poorly on Whitmer’s actions over her first term.
“If there’s any time in our history as a state that an incumbent governor could be unseated, now is that time because of the events that have unfolded over the past few years,”Kelley stated.
Garrett Soldano formed a protest against the Whitmer administration’s strict response to the COVID pandemic. Thousands of supporters joined the Kalamazoo chiropractor through Facebook and his group Stand Up Michigan to voice their opposition to Whitmer’s orders.
Soldano admits that it wasn’t an easy task when he declared his candidacy for the office of governor. But now, he believes the momentum from his movement will help propel him to the Republican nomination and give him the best chance to defeat Whitmer, who he says voters want held responsible for the state’s economic and infrastructure struggles.
“You’re not going to beat Governor Whitmer on policy,”He said. “You’re not going to get on stage with Governor Whitmer and say you’re going to fix the gosh darn roads better. It’s accountability time.”
Soldano places a strong emphasis on improving schools in the state, specifically by encouraging parents to get involved in their children’s education.
“We don’t have a teacher problem,” Soldano said. “We’re not going to allow a few bad apples to spoil the whole bunch.”Instead, he believes that getting more parents is the best solution for the school problem. “involved” “engaged” with their children’s education.
Soldano also explored the culture war and criticised radical gender theories being directed at children.
“This gender theory and sexual theory that’s being taught in schools, you have no right to do that,”He said. “If you want to teach my kid critical anything, you teach him critical thinking, critical math, critical reading. You can teach my kid how to critically think, not what to think.”
Businessman Kevin Rinke jumped into the GOP gubernatorial primary because he’s sick of what he sees as historic government failure. “I have never seen government dysfunction like I have seen under the Whitmer administration,”He spoke to The Daily Wire.
Rinke’s main concern is with the state’s approach to the economy, both from the fallout of harsh COVID lockdowns and the state’s taxes levied against citizens and businesses. It was, he said. “either leave the state of Michigan like 16,000 other people did last year under [Whitmer’s] leadership, or stand up and fight.”
Rinke plans to fight, and he’s focused on making Michigan a state of economic freedom for its citizens.
“I want to give back to citizens $11.8 billion of their money because I know that they know how to spend it better than the people in Lansing,”He commented.
To give the people of Michigan more freedom over their money, Rinke wants to eliminate the state’s 4.25% flat income tax, promising to do so if elected by January 1, 2024.
Businessman, who noted his past experience in running businesses and feels it will give him an edge over the others. “I’m the only candidate that has operated both private businesses and worked in public businesses,”He said that he added, “I respect the other candidates but they simply don’t have the experience, they simply don’t have the business scale.”
During his interview with The Daily Wire, Rinke didn’t hold back from taking swipes at Whitmer. “Gretchen Whitmer is well known for her failures,”He said. “She’s well known for auditioning to be Joe Biden’s vice president.”
“She’s the worst governor in America,”Rinke also said.
Tudor Dixon, a mother, entrepreneur, and commentator believes she has all the qualities and skills necessary to bring Michigan economic stability and to make family priorities a priority.
In the early 2000s, Dixon worked in the Michigan steel industry, where she made a name for herself becoming chairwoman of the Steel Founders Society of America’s Future Leaders Committee. Later, she started a conservative news channel that educated children about government.
In an interview with The Daily Wire, Dixon said that Whitmer’s policies have “done so much damage to the state,” and she believes pointing to the governor’s record over the past three and a half years will show Michigan voters that the state needs new direction.
“You look at what her record is, and we really strongly believe if we just hold her to her record, that’s enough to remind the people of Michigan that we can have a much better state,”Dixon said.
Dixon stated that her campaign always placed importance on being “very family focused,”She has endorsements backing it up. Dixon was recently honored by Michigan Right to Life. The influential DeVos clan, including former Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos gave their endorsement.
“We were very blessed to have the [DeVos family] come in and say they believe in our message, they believe in our plan,”Dixon shared his thoughts with The Daily Wire. “And they have a lot of influence in this state when it comes to the political movement, so a lot of people look at their endorsement and say ‘this person has a chance to go up against Gretchen Whitmer with the right plan for families.’”
Retired pastor Ralph Rebandt stepped down from three decades in the ministry to run for governor, pointing to Whitmer’s COVID lockdowns as a major factor in his decision. Whitmer “was simply looking at political science and not medical science,”He said.
Rebandt told The Daily Wire in an interview that he hasn’t seen any effective solutions coming out of the state capital over the past 30 years he’s been a pastor, and he wants to change that. Another reason Rebandt decided to enter politics was his personal experience with God changing lives. “for the mess that we’re in.”
In a race like the Michigan GOP primary, which saw the state’s most popular GOP candidate being barred, it is important for each candidate to have their name recognized. Rebandt hopes that his endorsement by the Southeastern Michigan Chiefs of Police and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell as well as pro-life activist Abby Johnson, will make him more visible to voters.
Rebandt didn’t hesitate to make comments on cultural war issues, including the question of radical gender theories targeted at children. “That’s what’s warping our children’s minds,”He said. “That’s what’s warping our culture, and it’s basically an attack on the family. On those issues, I’m very strong.”
Rebandt stated that he supports a complete ban on abortion and claimed to be the best candidate for the position. “The Bible tells us that God creates the child in the womb and gives life,”He said.
With a chance to face off against Whitmer on the line, these five GOP candidates are bound for a tight race down the stretch as each seeks to convince voters that he or she is the best choice to turn the governor’s mansion back over to Republicans.
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