It's been almost ten years since we had a good governor. Pre-2000 John Engler. The last eight years of Granholm has been a disaster. For most of those eight years, she was able to get everything she wanted due to either mostly democrat control, or willing Republicans who fiscally acted too much like democrats (Rick Johnson and Ken Sikkema with their support for tax shifts, fee increases, and high spending). Yes, there is blame on all sides to a degree for the past eight years and economic disaster, but the common factors in the recent problems of this state are Granholm, Cherry, Mark Schauer, Gretchen Whitmer, and Andy Dillon.
A lot of people are running for governor this term.
On the democrat side we have as follows:
John Cherry. I actually met Cherry a couple of times at gun rights events. Personally, I like the guy, and he was generally pro-2a before it was cool, so I'll give him a little credit. However, I couldn't disagree with him more on economic policies right now. Granholm/Cherry's policies are bad news for this state which is moving towards 20% unemployment.
John Freeman - Former Oakland County State Rep from Madison Heights near Royal Oak. I don't know much about this guy.
George Perles. Thanks to the tussle between Perles and DiBaggio, we got probation, rough times in the early 90's right after a Big 10 title, and a lawsuit. Perles was a good coach, but not good with the double duty of AD and coach at the same time.
Alma Wheeler Smith - Current state rep, former State Senator and Lt Governor Candidate (running with Bonior). Planned Parenthood's best friend. Also a major supporter of anti-2nd Amendment measures, tax increases, and big spending, as you would expect from an Ann Arbor/Ypsi area democrat.
Don Williamson - You gotta be kidding. He's the worst choice out of anyone running. He did not do Flint any favors.
On the GOP side:
Mike Bouchard - Bouchard is a good guy who should be in the US Senate right now. That's the problem, he SHOULD be in the senate, but he was clobbered against Stabenow in 06 and could not win his home county. Not all of that is his fault as he had Jack and Squat for support from NRSC, but he should have at least gotten it within 10%. 58%-42%? Can he get that extra 8%? I don't know. I do think he should instead run against Gary Peters in the 9th district, which would be a better matchup. I'd back Bouchard for that seat. Bouchard for Congress, not governor.
Tom George - State Senator from Kalamazoo. He's a more moderate (not liberal or RINO, actual moderate) candidate who was a state rep and senator in Kalamazoo county. He's won in tough areas, but it not well known statewide.
Pete Hoekstra - Congressman representing the Lake Michigan shoreline. Hoekstra's from Ottawa County, and is one of the better congressman from this state. I do worry however about anyone from Washington winning statewide, and Hoekstra has one vote that has left a real nasty taste in my mouth. The bailout. The banks bailout. Hoekstra voted against the bailout the first time, but when push came to shove on that second vote, he flipped. That one hurts, and I think he will be beaten over the head for that bailout vote.
Tim Rujan. I never heard of him before his announcement. He's up from the thumb in Huron County. He says some good things to the website, and I think can bring some ideas to the debates. Name recognition is his biggest obstacle.
Rick Snyder. There's only one republican running that I am really against, and that's Snyder. The "non-politician" who gives the most political answers in his statements and answers to question. If Snyder is the nominee, 57-40% loss, and Cherry is governor. Mark it down. I'll have another post on this guy soon. Right Michigan has several threads about Snyder. I commended on Snyder here. Gateway has its outsourcing issues as well.
That leaves Mike Cox. I first heard of him in 2001. I was actually skeptical of him at first because he is from Wayne County and worked at the time for Mike Duggan. As someone active in the 2nd Amendment movement, there's nobody that was worse than Duggan. At the time, Cox was running against an establishment backed opponent. Cox went and campaigned in our area several times and I talked with him on several occasions. I then backed him for AG after he promised CPL reciprocity with other states in a clear manner without politicalese statements. Cox won by 5000 votes in an upset. Within a few months, Cox kept his promise. Since then, he's not only continued to kept his promise, but came through with an amicus brief several times in support for the 2nd Amendment. While it is great that he's pro-2nd Amendment, what is MORE importantly is that he made a clear promise, kept it, and even when above and beyond what he promised.
Mike Cox is not afraid to take a stand, no matter what the establishment thinks. When it came to the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative banning government sponsored racial preferences, the political class in both parties was against it or silent. Mike Cox supported it. Mike Cox is active in taking a stand against the runaway tax and spending. He was the only candidate to take a no tax pledge. He has consistently been pro-life. He's stood up to the giant bureaucracy, Blue Cross.
Mike Cox is a winner. He won statewide twice, by 5000 votes in 02 against a strong candidate in Gary Peters, and despite the 2006 disaster for Republicans statewide and nationally, he won again, this time, by 330,000+ votes. He only lost Alger, Genesee, Gogebic, Ingham (barely), Iron, Marquette, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties. He won Oakland. Big. He won Macomb. Big. More impressively, he won Kalamazoo, Bay, Saginaw, Alpena, and Muskegon counties. All those lean democrat. Some are blue collar union areas, and Kalamazoo is social liberal and university area. He won both types of areas.
Because of his promises kept, political philosophy on my major issues, and his history of winning statewide elections, I will be voting for Mike Cox in the 2010 primary election.
(Disclaimer - I'm speaking only for myself and not any organization of which I have ties or am in a position of leadership.)