On April 5, Shri Thanedar, an Ann Arbor entrepreneur and former University of Michigan postdoctoral scholar, filed the necessary paperwork to run for Democratic governor of Michigan in 2018.

Thanedar is the former CEO of Avomeen Analytical Services — a chemical testing and development company — who made headlines in December when he gave over $1.5 million in bonuses to 50 employees after selling the company. He was recognized as an Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016 by Ernst & Young.  

According to his website, Thanedar was born in India and came to the United States in 1979 to obtain his Ph.D. in polymer chemistry from the University of Akron. Thanedar has a close connection to the University of Michigan, as his website also states he worked as a postdoctoral scholar from 1982-1984 and has two sons who graduated from Ross.

“His sons Neil and Samir graduated from University’s Ross School of Business,” the website reads. “Neil has started his own high technology business while Samir works in a technology start-up.”

Thanedar has not officially announced his run, and a record keeper listed in his campaign finance filing told Detroit News “we have no comment at this time.”

If Thanedar does run, he will join a field of Democratic candidates including former Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed, former state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer and former Xerox executive Bill Cobbs.

Public Policy junior Rowan Conybeare, the chair of the University’s chapter of College Democrats, said they are happy to see many candidates participating in the election.

“As an organization who wants to offer unified support of Democratic candidates, we do not endorse in primary elections, but we are very excited that so many experienced democratic candidates are running for governor,” she said. 

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