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GOP governor candidates fight over "off-duty" charge

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

With just two weeks left before the August 7 primary, a top contender for the Republican nomination for governor is under fire over how often he shows up for the job he has now.

“On duty” is how Bill Schuette often refers to his tenure as Michigan attorney general.

But Lt. Governor Brian Calley says his fellow Republican candidate for governor has more often been off-duty.

Calley says a check of Schuette’s official calendar since taking office in 2011 shows the attorney general has only worked 104 full days. 

“It’s never been more clear that Schuette was mostly interested in using the attorney general’s office as a stepping stone in his life-long quest to become governor. Michiganders deserve more from their elected leaders,” Calley says.

Calley is declining to release his own calendar as lieutenant governor. 

The calculations are based on time that’s not specifically reserved on Schuette’s calendar. 

A Schuette spokeswoman labels Calley’s claims “just another political attack."

“(AG Bill Schuette) runs an office that manages 40,000 cases a year and has spent days, night and weekends putting predators like Larry Nassar behind bars when no one else did, stopping scam artists from harming Michigan seniors, helping kids stand up to bullying with the OK2SAY initiative, recovering $252,567,153 in back child support payments, and so much more,” says Andrea Bitely, Michigan Attorney General office spokeswoman. 

A recent poll shows Schuette with a comfortable lead over the three other Republicans in the August primary.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.