Gretchen Whitmer and Bill Schuette to face off in general election

Monday, August 6, 2018 - 4:30pm

Gubernatorial candidates Gretchen Whitmer and Bill Schuette.

Gubernatorial candidates Gretchen Whitmer and Bill Schuette. Buy this photo
Alec Cohen/Daily and Transportation Infrastructure News

After winning the primary elections Tuesday night, gubernatorial candidates Gretchen Whitmer and Bill Schuette will face off in the general elections in November.

A former state senator, Whitmer beat out Indian-born entrepreneur, Shri Thanedar and ex-Detroit health director, Abdul El-Sayed in Tuesday's Democratic primary, while Attorney General Bill Schuette beat out Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, state senator Patrick Colbeck and doctor Jim Hines for the GOP primary.

Both Whitmer and Schuette were considered the favorites in their respective parties. While Whitmer was backed by her extensive political experience and community envolvement, Schuette was supported by his current involvement in state government and openly endorsed by President Donald Trump.

The Associated Press called the race for Schuette at 9:24 p.m. Schuette was still in the lead as of 10:20 p.m.  With 2,086 of 4,805 precincts reporting, Schuette was winning by 51.0 percent of the vote with Calley trailing behind at 24.4 and Colbeck at 13.9. 

Whitmer’s success was announced soon after. At 9:55 p.m. Whitmer officially claimed her spot as the Democratic candidate in the general election.  As of 10:20 p.m. with 2,136 of 4,805 precincts reporting, Whitmer had 49.6 percent of the votes. El-Sayed trailed just behind her with 34.1 percent and Thanedar with 16.2 percent.

Both Whitmer and Schuette will represent polar opposite sides of each issue in the general elections, with Whitmer representing a progressive platform and Schuette maintaining a conservative platform.

Whitmer is running based on a highly progressive platform and seeking to take back the seat from a Republican majority.

“I am really proud of the progressive record that I have earned over the years,” Whitmer told The Daily in an interview back in July. “It’s one thing to take a position; it’s another thing to actually show up and do the work. Whether it was women’s health when I shared my story as a sexual assault survivor, or it was negotiating and increasing the minimum wage or getting health care expanded to 680,000 people, I’ve been on the front lines and I know how to get things done.”

Whitmer explains her extensive political experience makes her a good candidate for governor.

“I am the one person who has experience in state government and we’re hiring someone to run our state, to oversee our schools and our higher education institutions as well as our criminal justice system, the cleanliness of our water, the health care of our citizenry, and I think that we need someone who knows what they’re doing,” Whitmer said in the interview. “Experimentation of a governor who didn’t have any background in state government and a president who doesn’t have any background, we’ve seen people pay a dear cost for that.”

Similarly, Schuette's campaign also relies on his political experience. Schuette not only currently serves as attorney general, but he has previously served in the state legislature, in congress and in the administration of former Gov. John Engler.

"As Michigan’s top law enforcement officer, Bill Schuette has been a powerful voice for victims," Schuette's website reads. "He formed the Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking, engineered the plan to fund the testing of thousands of long-abandoned DNA evidence boxes to provide justice to victims of sexual assault and led the effort to put 1,000 new cops on the street."

Schuette says Trump's full endorsement makes him a good candidate for governor.

“President Trump has endorsed my candidacy for governor because he knows I’ll cut taxes in Michigan like he’s cut taxes in America,” Schuette said in the final GOP debate in July. “It’s time that Michigan wins again."