The who, when and what of the Republican gubernatorial election in Michigan


The upcoming Republican primary is the deciding factor for who will run against incumbent democrat Gretchen Whitmer for Michigan governor come November.

Elias Nagel-Bennett, Copy Editor

With midterm elections approaching in November of 2022, the landscape for Michigan is looking to be heated; while Gretchen Whitmer, the incumbent governor, has the guaranteed nomination of the Democratic party, the Republican ticket is still up in the air. 

Below is a summary of each candidate for governor and  a short summary of their policies. You can vote in the Republican or Democratic primary on August 2nd, either via pre-requested mail-in ballot (if you are a registered member of a party) or in person.

Kevin Rinke: Another large face in advertising, Rinke is a businessman and a political outsider, similar to Johnson. His major proposals are eliminating the state income tax, implementing voter ID laws and making Michigan more competitive with other states and international markets, according to Mark Hicks with The Detroit News

Tudor Dixon: Endorsed by former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Dixon comes from a similar industrial background to several of the other candidates. Dixon is the founder of Lumen News, “a pro-America, pro-Constitution morning news program,” according to her campaign website. She has a long list of endorsements, including “Congressman Bill Huizenga, Congresswoman Lisa McClain, Ambassador Ric Grenell, the American Conservative Union, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan,” and holds many of the common positions of the Republican primary – greater choice in schools for parents, ensuring economic growth, and implementing voter ID laws. 

Ryan Kelley: Hailing from Allendale, Kelley is a real estate broker by trade and largely entered the political scene by organizing a number of anti-lockdown protests in Lansing early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. He now holds himself as “Fighting for American values, our constitution, election integrity and a free Michigan for future generations,” according to his site. He has also published a plan for his first 100 days, which would include declaring the pandemic over, auditing the budget and passing new firearm-carry laws concerning. 

Ralph Rebandt: Rebandt, according to Ballotpedia, has worked as a minister and has experience in law enforcement. He has promised to emphasize the idea of “In God We Trust,” stick to a strict view of the Constitution, and try to be transparent as Governor. 

Garrett Soldano: Soldano, a Kalamazoo resident, owns and operates Soldano Family Chiropractic Center. According to his site, Garrett “co-founded Stand Up Michigan and was a citizen co-chair of the Unlock Michigan campaign.” He bases his campaign around three core issues – integrity, transparency and freedom, specifically railing against corruption and “big tech” companies such as Facebook. 

Previous candidates Donna Brandenburg, Micheal Brown, James Craig, Perry Johnson and Micheal Markey were disqualified from the primary election “for submitting nominating petitions that officials said had contained thousands of forged signatures,” the New York Times reported.