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Republican Kevin Rinke holds launch party for gubernatorial campaign

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Steve Carmody
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Michigan Radio
Kevin Rinke, candidate for the the Republican nomination for governor in Michigan

A leading Republican candidate for Michigan governor held a campaign launch party with his supporters Thursday night.

“I’m running to be the 50th governor of the state of Michigan,” businessman Kevin Rinke told the cheering crowd of dozens of his supporters at a bar in Plymouth.

Kevin Rinke is part of a crowded Republican field running for governor, which includes former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and chiropractor Garrett Soldano.

Rinke said his experience in business will differentiate him from other candidates. He owned car dealerships and traumatic brain injury clinics. When asked about James Craig’s qualifications, Rinke described him as a “bureaucrat.”

“He may be a hell of a good police chief. He may be a bad police chief,” Rinke told reporters, “And I think by the time the campaign’s over people are going to have their opinions.”

Rinke’s opinion of the current office-holder was more pointed. He described Governor Gretchen Whitmer as a “career politician” “who puts politics over the people they’re supposed to protect.”

The Michigan Democratic Party put out a statement Thursday night calling Rinke an “out of touch millionaire.”

The Republican gubernatorial primary is Aug. 2.

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