Capital Catch-Up: July 25, 2022

Capital Catch-Up: July 25, 2022

GOP Debate Features Candidates Unfit for Office of the Governor 

With the August primary right around the corner, the seventh GOP gubernatorial primary debate was held last Wednesday, giving the five remaining candidates another chance to appeal to their Republican base. The next Republican primary debate will be held on July 27th. 

Disappointingly, none of the candidates vying for the Republican nomination will publicly disavow Donald Trump’s Big Lie, the January 6th insurrection or the continued attempts to sow doubt about our election system. Even worse, several of the candidates have led on efforts to perpetuate and foment lies about the election process even though claims of widespread fraud have been repeatedly debunked. 

Here are some items that stood out to us about each of the five GOP candidates: 

The five Republican candidates in the primary election for Governor. Pictured from top left, clockwise: Ryan Kelley, Tudor Dixon, Kevin Rinke, Ralph Rebandt and Garrett Soldano. All five candidates have demonstrated their unfitness for elected office.

The Candidates: 

  • Tudor Dixon is a right-wing media personality, mom, and former businesswoman in the steel industry. Now, the ‘establishment’ favorite, Ms. Dixon mentioned few policy specifics and spoke mostly in political platitude – like cutting an arbitrary 40% of government regulations – when talking about her top campaign issues. Dixon has been repeatedly attacked by several other candidates due to her endorsement from the DeVos family. 


  • Kevin Rinke is a former car dealership kingpin turned candidate. Mr. Rinke has irresponsibly called for the elimination of Michigan’s personal income tax without replacement –  a move that would create a devastating hole in the state’s budget. Notably, Mr. Rinke released a campaign ad that misleadingly claims dead people voted in the 2020 election. 


  • Garrett Soldano, a former chiropractor, is most well known for leading the “Unlock Michigan” campaign during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Soldano consistently deployed an angry, aggressive demeanor during the debate. He is an anti-establishment candidate and stalwart Donald Trump supporter.


  • Ryan Kelley is a West Michigan real estate broker and doppelganger for the former US Speaker Paul Ryan. Mr. Ryan recently garnered national attention when the FBI arrested him for participating in the January 6th insurrection. Instead of disavowing the violence of the January 6th insurrection during the debate, Kelley bragged about his involvement in the riot, and getting ‘kicked off’ AirBnB. 


  • Ralph Rebant is a reverend from Farmington Hills. During last week’s debate, Rembrandt focused on attacking Tudor Dixon, and slashing government.


Throughout the campaign cycle, the remaining Republican candidates for Governor have touted too many untenable, extreme, or irresponsible policies and positions. All five candidates continued to make dangerous threats to our democracy by discussing the decertification of future elections; and, two of the front runners, Dixon and Rinke, have both suggested they would eliminate one of the state’s primary funding sources (the income tax) without replacement. 

Pcitured: the five Republican candidates for Governor speaking during last week’s debate. From left to right: Ryan Kelley, Garrett Soldano, Kevin Rinke, Tudor Dixon, and Ralph Rebandt

The Future of MI’s Environment with a 2022 GOP Candidate

The first question of last week’s debate was about clean, safe drinking water in Michigan, and  the issue was handled by the candidates with a modicum of sobriety. The candidates talked about the importance of addressing the threats of PFAS and lead contamination. That said,  several turned to criticism of Gov. Whitmer and the sitting legislature for not allocating surplus funding to address threats to drinking water, a claim that is particularly unfounded given the historic water investments by Whitmer and the legislature this year, achieving bipartisan support to pass  $4.8 billion in infrastructure investments outlined in Senate Bill 565, which allocates $2 billion to drinking water and water infrastructure. 

Although it was a promising sign to have universal support for addressing Michigan water issues, none of the candidates mentioned climate change, and all support keeping oil and gas flowing through Line 5, the 69-year-old pipeline that crosses the Straits of Mackinac or the tunnel. In addition, each candidate has voiced support for continued investment in natural gas, and a few for further support of the uncompetitive and financially unviable nuclear power. 

To learn more about the 2022 race for Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and the State Legislature, stay tuned to our Capital Catch Up and the 2022 Endorsements page on our website!

Quick Hits

MISO Board Expected to Approve Regional Power Projects, Increase Reliability and Renewables in Northern Michigan

At their upcoming July 25th meeting, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) board, who is in charge of transmission operations in the middle of North America, is expected to approve several important power grid improvements that will increase access to renewable energy in Michigan. While more must quickly be done to improve the grid, MISO has taken a desperately needed step in the right direction by approving these measures. To read more about how you can help MISO change direction towards renewable energy, click here

Help Us Reach a Conservation Majority in Michigan!

Michigan LCV needs you to help us achieve a conservation majority in the Michigan Legislature. Join us at one of our next canvasses! 

Canvass for Jennifer Conlin

July 26 from 5:30-8 p.m.

Ann Arbor

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Canvass for Jennifer Hill 

July 28 from 2-5pm 


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Canvass for Rosemary Bayer 

Aug 9 from 5:30-8pm

Novi Area

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Canvass for Darrin Camilleri and Reggie Miller 

Aug 19 from 3-5pm


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