Both leading candidates for governor want to go 'Back to the Future' in 2018

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Both of the top candidates in both parties in the race for governor in Michigan have gone on record to compare themselves to former Michigan Gov. John Engler, a republican.

Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a roundtable last month he's going to cut taxes just as Engler did in his time in office from 1991-2002. 

"I'm going to be a governor like Engler," Schuette said. "There has to be a fresh approach and (a candidate) has to have an independent record of accomplishment. That's how Michigan rocks and how Michigan rolls. I bring that equation to the table."

Schuette says he wants to slash taxes, reduce regulations and focus on jobs. 

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Former Gov. Engler, a long-time lobbyist as CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, endorsed Schuette for governor.  That's not necessarily a surprise considering Schuette was Engler's Director of Agriculture in the early 1990's.

In a news release issued by Schuette's campaign, Engler said Schuette is “very talented, very experienced.”

“He’s in some ways the most experienced and most varied in background of anybody who’s run in a very long time,” Engler said in the prepared statement.

But Schuette's not the only candidate in the field making comparisons to Engler.

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer said in an article published in the Washington Post Monday that she compared herself to "former governor John Engler, a Republican, who like Whitmer led his party in the state Senate before running to be the state’s top official."

She's likely describing her possible route to the top executive position in the state, rather than each party's politics.

By bringing Engler back into the picture, both candidates are looking back to a time when Michigan's economy was growing, as it is now.  

Both Whitmer and Schuette are the leading candidates in each of their parties but will now go through the long campaign to try to win each party's primary on Aug. 7.  

The general election is Nov. 6.

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