GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Michigan GOP is hosting their party Endorsement Convention this weekend at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids. The convention comes days after a historic 10 GOP candidates submitted their official bids for governor.
Michigan Democrats had their convention earlier in April in Detroit, and now Michigan Republicans will come from all across the state to hear from candidates for Governor, Attorney General, Michigan Supreme Court, Secretary of State and other coveted positions that will be on the ballot this November.
"We have the largest field we've had in quite some time," Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for the Michigan Republican Party Gustavo Portela said.
Some of the 10 names for the GOP candidates for Governor include former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, businessmen Perry Johnson and Kevin Rinke, chiropractor Garrett Soldano and former TV host Tudor Dixon. The question for some has been why is that number of GOP candidates for governor is at a historic high. Michigan GOP leaders say it shows the growing frustrations over Governor Whitmer's leadership who want real change.
"They want a new leader at the top," Portela said. "They want somebody who will be transparent. They don't want somebody who will break promises like Gretchen Whitmer did when it came to fixing the roads. They want change."
Michigan Democrats on the other hand say the historic number of candidates shows the disorganization of the Michigan Republican Party.
“With the Republican race for governor, it's alarming to me how many people don't know anything about government and yet want to run the state of Michigan which is a state of over 10 million people. That's a little frightening to me," Attorney General Dana Nessel told FOX 17.
The big focus this weekend is most likely to be the race for Attorney General. The top GOP candidates for AG include Matt DePerno, who has been endorsed by former President Trump and former House Speaker Tom Leonard.
Dana Nessel won the position back in 2018 in a close race with Leonard and is running for re-election this November. She'll be a big topic at the convention as the GOP is looking to oust her from her position.
“I think Republicans are enthusiastic about the chances we have in that race. I think Dana Nessel is going to be defeated. She's been an absolute disaster as Attorney General. She's focused on 'woke politics' that get no results for Michiganders, whereas Republicans will be focused on actual getting results, putting victims first and criminals in jail," Portela said.
Meanwhile Nessel is confident with her track record and says 'woke politics' is a term she does not associate with herself or the Democratic Party.
“When they say woke politics you have to ask, what does that mean exactly? It's just another one of those phrases that doesn't actually mean anything and is there to divide people and doesn't result in getting actual results for Michigan residents," Attorney General Dana Nessel said. "It's alarming to me how many people don't know anything about government and yet want to run the state of Michigan," she added.
The Michigan GOP Endorsement Convention is Saturday, April 23 at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. You can register and learn more here.