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Political roundup: Do voters really care about a candidate’s running mate?

Aug 17, 2018

Abdul El-Sayed has expressed a willingness to consider a place on the ticket as lieutenant governor, but Barnett says there's too much "bad blood" between the candidates for that to be likely.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The big news in politics this week was the Republican gubernatorial nominee choosing a running mate.

Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus-Lyons would be his lieutenant governor Monday.

To discuss that choice, and all things lieutenant governor, Stateside talked to our Friday political commentators.

Vicki Barnett is a former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator. Ken Sikkema is senior policy fellow with Public Sector Consultants and the former Republican majority leader in the state Senate.

Both Sikkema and Barnett say that Posthumus-Lyons makes sense as a running mate for Schuette given her good reputation in West Michigan and a conservative voting record while in the state Legislature.

“Historically, it is just hard come November, after a gazillion dollars have been spent on ads — not just for governor, but U.S. Senate, and Congress, and ballot proposals — for the lieutenant governor nominees to move the needle,” said Sikkema. 

Barnett said that while voters are unlikely to turn out to the polls to specifically vote for lieutenant governor, running mates can help turn out a party’s base in key regions.

Listen above to hear about the possibility of a Whitmer and El-Sayed ticket, and what both candidates will need from their second-in-command during the campaign.

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