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Delegates roll up their sleeves at Michigan's nominating conventions

Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the 1988 Republican convention in New Orleans
White House
Ronald Reagan Library
Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the 1988 Republican convention in New Orleans.

Both the republican and democratic nominating conventions will be held this weekend. So what actually happens at these things? Aren't they just overhyped pageants so the parties can put their candidates on display?

While that might be the case for the national conventions, the Michigan conventions are different. Balloons and confetti are absent.  Horsetrading and backroom deals  rule the day.

Michigan Radio's senior political analyst Jack Lessenberry says the Republican Convention in East Lansing will have several political fights.  Most notably, he says, will be the fight over the Republican's candidate for attorney general.  The Detroit News has a story on the flap that has been brewing over that nomination (between Mike Bishop and Bill Schuette):

"Dozens of Oakland County Republican delegate nominations -- including the parents of attorney general candidate Mike Bishop -- were denied Thursday night a seat at the state convention"

Lessenberry thinks appeals court judge Schuette is likely to come away with the repubulican nomination for attorney general.

There are five repubulicans vying for the secretary of state nomination, and there will be nominations for the Michigan Supreme Court, the State Board of Education, and the boards of the three state universities (MSU, Wayne State, and UofM).

Lessenberry says the Democratic Convention will not have as much controversy because the Dems have already decided on their attorney general and secretary of state candidates at a "prenominating convention" held this past spring.  But he says there will still be plenty of horse trading going on around the nominations for the State Board of Education and the university board nominations.




Mark Brush was Michigan Radio’s Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.