GRAND RAPIDS, MICH - There's a long way to go before we reach November of 2018 and the election of Michigan's new governor. Well more than a year out, there's a lot of posturing and moves being made before April 2018's filing deadline.
Keep in mind at this point in the election eight years ago, Rick Snyder was a virtual unknown to anybody in the political realm. It wasn't until the primary process and the debates ramped up in early 2010 did Gov. Snyder start to seal the deal as the Republican nominee. He later defeated Democrat Virg Bernero to win the seat.
Fast forward to today, we're just getting into that time period where somebody could really come out of nowhere to win it all so, to some, it wouldn't be a surprise if a candidate come out of nowhere to win.
On the Republican side, the obvious contenders haven't officially announced they are running, but they likely will throw their hats into the ring. Attorney General Bill Schuette is leading in early polls by double digits over Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.
Lt. Gov. Calley spoke to local leaders in Grand Rapids Wednesday how important it is to eliminate child lead exposure. Calley spoke and answered questions for more than an hour on the issue.
After the event, Calley spoke with the media and dismissed the early polls showing Schuette in the lead. Neither candidate has formally announced they would be candidates.
"Like imaginary polls between candidates and an election some time in the future, I wouldn't spend any time thinking about that," Calley said. "I've got a job to do and the question is where do we go from here?"
Michigan Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) is another name to watch. He's popular with the far right in the party and one of the most conservative members of the Legislature.
Many republicans feel President Donald Trump's performance ratings will have a huge impact on the race when the time comes for people to vote.
The Detroit Free Press reported recently there are several other Republicans who have filed paperwork with the Secretary of State including insurance agent Joseph Derose of Williamston, Grand Rapids businessman Evan Space, obstetrician Dr. Jim Hines of Saginaw, and private investigator Mark McFarlin of Pinconning.
On the Democratic side, former Michigan lawmaker Gretchen Whitmer has been campaigning for months and raised some significant money. The wild card question at the moment is whether attorney and former gubernatorial candidate Geoffrey Fieger will be in the race. Noted attorney Mark Bernstein got out of it Tuesday in favor of supporting Whitmer's campaign.
The Free Press reported other Democrats who have filed paperwork to run for the office are Ann Arbor businessman Shri Thanedar, retired Xerox executive William Cobbs of Farmington Hills; emergency medical services driver Kentiel White of Southgate; and Justin Giroux of Wayland.
Two independent candidates – Ryan Cox of Clawson and Todd Schleiger of Lake Orion – have filed for the seat along with Green Party candidate Dwaine Reynolds of Middleville.
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