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Your guide to Michigan's very crowded field of gubernatorial candidates

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush
Michigan Radio
Hopefully you've recovered from the 2016 election, because Election 2018 is in full swing.

Michigan’s gubernatorial election is still 14 months away, but the field of candidates is growing quickly.

A whopping 20 people have filed with the Secretary of State so far: six Republicans, seven Democrats and seven third-party candidates. And that number is expected to grow before the April 2018 filing deadline.

Credit AG's Office, Wikicommons
Gubernatorial front-runners Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer


Rick Snyder is term-limited, opening up the race for the Republican ticket as well as the Democratic. So far, Attorney General Bill Schuette and former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer are considered the front-runners in their respective primaries, although a lot can happen before the August 7 primary vote.

Below is a roster of all the candidates so you can keep track of who’s who. We’ll update this list as more candidates jump into the race.

The Republicans

Brian Calley

Patrick Colbeck

Jim Hines

Bill Schuette

Other candidates include Joseph DeRose of Williamston, Mark McFarlin of Pinconning and Evan Space of Grand Rapids. 

The Democrats

Bill Cobbs

Abdul El-Sayed

Shri Thanedar

Gretchen Whitmer 

Justin D. Giroux of Wayland and Kentiel D. White of Detroit are also in the running for the Democratic nomination. Attorney Geoffrey Fieger is listed on the Secretary of State website as having filed, although he has not formally announced his candidacy.

Third Parties

Seven third-party candidates have announced bids so far, including Jennifer Kurland of Redford Township and Dwain Reynolds of Grand Rapids for the Green Party, and Libertarian candidates Bill Gelineau of Riverview and John Tatar of Chelsea. Independents include Ryan Cox of Clawson, Larry Hutchinson of Lansing and Todd Schleiger of Lake Orion.

The filing deadline for gubernatorial candidates is April 24, 2018. The primary election is Aug. 7 while the general election will be Nov. 6, 2018.

*This post was updated on Dec. 21, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.

Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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