Record number of Republicans file to run against Gretchen Whitmer

Whitmer is seeking election to a second term as governor.

Updated: April 22, 2022 - 5:52pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


Ten Republicans have filed petitions to run the state's Republican gubernatorial primary to vie for the right to challenge Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Of the 13 declared candidates, ten cleared the 15,000 signatures threshold necessary to run in the August primary, setting a state record for the most filed candidates within the same party in a gubernatorial race, according to the Epoch Times.

Whitmer is seeking election to a second term as governor. She won her first in 2018 and beat out Republican Bill Schuette with 53.3% of the vote, Ballotpedia notes. Michigan governors may serve for a maximum of two, four-year terms.

Her tenure has been mired in criticism over her strict COVID-19 containment measures and under-reporting of death figures due to the pandemic.

The state GOP express optimism that the large field of candidates would be a benefit to their electoral chances in November. State GOP communications director Gus Portela told the Times “Our large field is a real advantage for us. It speaks volumes about our enthusiasm level that starts with the grassroots on up."

“Our polling shows Whitmer can’t even beat a generic Republican. She is vulnerable. We are excited about our chances to unseat her in November,” he continued.

Among the ten candidates are Detroit car dealer Kevin Rinke, businessman Perry Johnson, chiropractor Garrett Soldano, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, news anchor Tudor Dixon, businesswoman Donna Brandenburg, radio host Michael Markey, Pastor Ralph Rebandt, conservative activist Ryan Kelly, and Michigan State Police Captain Michael Brown.