Most of the ticket is set for Michigan Republicans and Democrats before this weekend’s state nominating conventions. But Gongwer News Service Editor Zach Gorchow says a couple of races are still up in the air.
State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker of Lawton is seeking the Republican nomination for Attorney General in a contentious race with state House Speaker Tom Leonard. Schuitmaker was also mentioned as a possible running mate for gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette. But Gorchow says it appears that Schuitmaker is committed to seeking the nomination for Attorney General. He says it’s also worth noting that Leonard worked in the Attorney General’s office under Schuette.
Another Republican State Senator from Southwest Michigan was also considered for the Lieutenant Governor nomination. Margaret O’Brien is running for re-election in Kalamazoo County against former state Representative Sean McCann. It’s a rematch of a very close and very expensive race from four years ago. Gorchow says if O’Brien had been picked, it would have meant that McCann also certainly would have won the state Senate Race. O’Brien could not have run for both state Senate and Lieutenant Governor. The Kalamazoo County Republican Party would have had to pick a new nominee. Gorchow says O’Brien seems like the only Republican candidate who can hold the 20th state Senate district in the current political environment.
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gretchen Whitmer announced earlier this week that Garlin Gilchrist will be her running mate. The Republican candidate for governor Bill Schuette picked Lisa Posthumous Lyons. Gorchow says neither of them was an obvious choice earlier this year. He says a variety of factors led to them being selected.
This year will also bring more focus on the race for Michigan State University Board of Trustees. Only two Republican candidates are running for the two open seats. But eight Democrats are in the running for their party’s two spots. Gorchow says that’s much more interest than normal. He says once nominees are set, the race will likely get more attention than it has in the past because of the fallout from the scandal involving former sport doctor Larry Nassar.