Six candidates are running in the Republican primary for governor of Michigan. Four candidates—Tudor Dixon, Ryan Kelley, Kevin Rinke, and Garrett Soldano—lead in fundraising and polling. The winner of the primary will face incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the November general election.
Dixon is a former news anchor for America’s Voice News. Dixon called herself “the visionary and clear policy leader in the Republican field,” saying she would “rebuild and grow the economy, stop the indoctrination of our school children, … [and] apply common-sense reforms to Michigan’s elections.”
Kelley owns a real estate investment firm. Kelley said, “We have God-given rights, not government granted privileges,” adding that he would “protect and defend those rights from an overreaching federal government,” and referring to Whitmer as a “radical left wing dictator.”
Rinke owned and operated a group of car dealerships in the Detroit area. Rinke highlighted his business experience, saying he would “get the government out of the way, eliminate regulations, lower costs and let businesses do what they do best: create good paying jobs for our communities.”
Soldano is a chiropractor and co-founder of Stand Up Michigan, a group opposed to the state’s coronavirus policies. Soldano said he was standing up for Michigan and “running to be your voice and return our government to We the People,” listing integrity, transparency, and freedom as three key points of his campaign.
Several candidates have received noteworthy endorsements in the primary. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce and businessman Dick Devos endorsed Dixon. The Michigan Coalition for Freedom and the National Firearms Coalition endorsed Kelley. Michael Brown, a state police captain and former Republican gubernatorial candidate, endorsed Rinke.
Ralph Rebandt is also running in the primary.
Five candidates did not qualify for the Republican primary ballot following a May 23 report from the state Bureau of Elections that found 36 petition circulators had forged an estimated 68,000 signatures across multiple campaigns’ sets of nominating petitions, including those of the affected gubernatorial candidates. One of those candidates—former Detroit Police Chief James Craig—is running as a write-in candidate in the primary.