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RGA’s Recruitment Failure in Michigan Drags on as GOP Loses Out on ‘Dream Candidate’ (Again)

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“If Michigan Republicans were hoping for an apparent dream ticket for Governor…the dream is over.”

After the Michigan Republican Party’s “dream candidate” Candice Miller passed on jumping into the GOP primary for governor, Miller is once again dashing the RGA’s hopes for a “dream ticket” in Michigan — this time rejecting the opportunity to provide much-needed support to the Michigan GOP’s apparent backup option, James Craig, by running for lieutenant governor.

The RGA has been facing recruitment failures across the country, as RGA Chair Doug Ducey continues to feud with Trump — and Michigan is a prime example. RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel was quick to clarify that she was “not considering” a run for governor after reports emerged that she was. Other top Republicans like former GOP Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, Pete Hoekstra and Fred Upton have all also passed on the race, with the Detroit Free Press reporting, “the GOP has no top-tier candidate for governor and no assurances it will get one.”

The GOP’s backup option is James Craig, who is currently dodging questions about his extreme record while insider consultants fight over who will give him his canned talking points. In teasing his likely run for governor, Craig refused to condemn the GOP’s dangerous conspiracy theories about election fraud that fueled the January 6th insurrection and left 5 people dead. Craig dodged the question when asked, instead saying, “I’m not going to talk about politics today.”  

The rest of the field of little-known, extremist Republicans includes Garrett Soldano, best known for leading a failed petition effort – filled with forged signatures – to undermine Michigan’s pandemic response and trying to turn a profit by pushing a fake cure for COVID-19, and right-wing internet talk show host Tudor Dixon

“Republican insiders in Michigan know their hand-picked candidate for governor is nothing more than a fallback option, so they’re desperately trying — and failing — to give him some backup,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton. “Unfortunately for them, the RGA continues to find that no top Republican is willing to throw themselves into what will inevitably be a brutal, messy primary fought over far-right and unpopular litmus tests — and honestly, who can blame them. The Michigan GOP is left with a bunch of no-name, extremists as their primary field, all of whom pale in strength to Gov. Whitmer, who has shown decisive leadership that puts Michigan families first throughout her time as governor.”