In the 2018 midterm elections, Michigan’s two-term Republican Governor Rick Snyder will be term limited out of office. Among the highlights of the controversial Governor’s tenure in his gubernatorial office were his movements to allow Michigan motorcyclists to not wear helmets, his passage of Right to Work legislation which led to massive backlash from unions, multiple pro-life bills, his consideration for being picked as Mitt Romney’s running mate in the 2012 Presidential election, his use of emergency mangers to handle financial crises across the state, and most recently his involvement in the Flint Water Crisis.
In 2019, he will be succeeded by the winner of the 2018 gubernatorial election. On Tuesday, from the pack of potential candidates for the office, Gretchen Whitmer of the Michigan Democratic Party became the first person to officially declare herself in the running to be the 49th Governor of Michigan.
A Lansing Native, Whitmer served Ingham County as County Prosecutor briefly in 2016 and served in the Michigan State House of Representatives and Senate between 2001 and 2015, serving for four years as the Minority Leader of the Michigan Senate.
In an op-ed in which she called out past Michigan leaders as being ineffective and incapable of leading the state out of recession and struggles in the state. She’s poising herself as a person ready to fight for worker’s rights; for a “level playing field” for “every Michigander — regardless of gender or race or religion or who you love or where you were born;” against rising college debt; and for government accountability. In addition to calling for allowing the creation of jobs and the promotion of small businesses, she alluded to needing to address the Water Crisis in her calls for making sure every Michigander has clean drinking water.
Other potential candidates from the Democratic Party include John Austin, superintendent of the Michigan Board of Education; Mark Hackel, the sitting Macomb County Executive; Debbie Dingell and Dan Kildee, United States Representatives from Michigan’s 12th and 5th Districts respectively; Barbara McQuade, a United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan; and Bill Wild, Mayor of Westland.
Potential candidates from the Republican Party include Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley; Secretary of State Ruth Johnson; Attorney General Bill Schuette; Candice Miller, former United States Representative from Michigan’s 10th District and current Macomb County Public Works Commissioner; and Jase Bolger, a former Michigan Speaker of the House of Representatives.