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Saginaw doctor first MI gubernatorial candidate to file for 2018

Doctor Jim Hines climbs aboard his campaign bus with a box of petition signatures to be dropped off with state elections officials.
Rick Pluta
Michigan Radio

A doctor from Saginaw Township is the first candidate for governor to file petition signatures to appear on the ballot next year.

Doctor Jim Hines filed more than 22,000 signatures to appear on the August 2018 Republican primary ballot. It takes 15,000 signatures to qualify. The petitions must still be checked and certified by elections officials.

Hines says he’s a fan of President Trump and Governor Rick Snyder, who were also political novices when they first ran for their jobs.

“And as I travel the state, I’m finding a lot of interest for someone who does not have a long political history,” he said.

That puts Hines in contrast with Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and Attorney General Bill Schuette, are eyeing bids for the Republican nomination but have not formally declared they’re running.

Governor Snyder cannot run again due to term limits.

On the Democratic side, former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer and former Detroit Health Department Director Abdul El-Sayad have announced they are running. Attorney and University of Michigan Regent Mark Bernstein is also looking at a run for the Democratic nomination.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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