LANSING, MICH - The Snyder-Calley administration takes credit for Michigan gaining half a million new jobs and touts how the state is #1 in creating manufacturing jobs. Gov. Rick Snyder and Lt. Gov Brian Calley say they've been able to balance the state's budget the past seven years while building a surplus.
But what about the Flint water crisis? How about problems with Michigan's unemployment system and deep issues at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans?
There's no question Michigan's economy is better now than it was seven years ago. That's when Governor Rick Snyder was elected to office. The unemployment statistics prove that. In 2010, the state's unemployment was at nearly 15 percent. Today, it's less than 4 percent.
Despite all the work done to bring jobs to the state, which voters wanted Gov. Snyder to do back in 2010, Snyder's approval rating remains in the mid-30's. And it doesn't appear his second in command, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, is the favorite to win Republican primary in 2018.
"Political people take political cheap shots but this is a real comeback," Calley said.
Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) says he doesn't believe Calley will get through the primary.
"Calley will be running as the Snyder clone and that doesn't work," Sen. Jones said. "In my opinion, he can't (win)."
Polling done this summer shows Attorney General Bill Schuette in the lead by double digits. That, of course, can change now that the field on the Republican side is likely set.
Schuette has millions of dollars to spend to try to boost him into the November general election.
"Bill Schuette is the very likely nominee for his party's nomination for Governor," Michigan Democratic Party chair Brandon Dillon said. "Schuette is a professional career politician who has wanted to be Governor his entire life and will step on anybody and do anything to achieve that goal."
Schuette's been at odds with Governor Snyder's administration after criminally charging several state officials in the Flint water crisis including the director of the state Department of Health and Human Services Nick Lyon.
It's expected to be a spirited Republican primary as it was nearly eight years ago.
There's a feeling Michigan lawmaker Gretchen Whitmer is the leading candidate to win the Democratic nomination but it's still early in the process.
"So far what you've seen from our candidates is focusing our attention on who can be a much better Governor after eight years of Rick Snyder and what seems like a decade of Donald Trump in the White House," Dillon said.
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