Michigan Republicans were in Grand Rapids this past weekend to finalize their slate for the November ballot, and to fire up for the final weeks of the election season.
With the theme of “Protect our Comeback,” the GOP hoped to energize voters for the upcoming election. Polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Michigan, and GOP leaders fear that will affect other races down the ballot.
Republicans avoided factional disputes that have marred past conventions. There were two contested nominations – for State Board of Education, and for the Wayne State Board of Governors. They were settled with one round of voting. The uncontested nominations were for Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan State University Board of Trustees, and the Wayne State University Board of Governors.
The convention was opened by a speech from Attorney General Bill Schuette. He says his goal is for the Republican Party to win every single election in November.
“We need to make sure we suit up with the DNA of victory,” he told the delegates. “We gotta have victory. And I want you to know that we have to have big aspirations. We have to have big goals.”
While Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump painted a dim picture of Michigan when he last visited the state, he was a centerpiece of the convention. With Trump’s scheduled Labor Day weekend trip, Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel says Trump is still fighting to win here in spite of the polls.
“He is bringing the case to Michigan voters. He is saying I’m here for you. I care about your state,” she said.
But Gov. Rick Snyder still isn’t endorsing Trump. Speaking at the convention Saturday, Governor Rick Snyder took aim at Trump’s dark view of Detroit.
“That’s history,” he said. “The Detroit of today is an exciting place, particularly downtown and Midtown. There are still a lot of challenges in neighborhoods, and we’re working hard on those. But I think if you look at it, I think Detroit would be viewed as one of the comeback cities in our country.”
Snyder says he's focused on winning state House seats, not on the presidential election.
Michigan Supreme Court
State Board of Education
Wayne State University Board of Governors
Michigan State University Board of Trustees
University of Michigan Board of Regents