Advance Notice: Briefs

After Dixon makes her pick, Soldano teases a possible run for lieutenant governor 

By: - August 20, 2022 7:06 am

Republican gubernatorial candidate Garrett Soldano attends a Republican gubernatorial in Howell on May 13, 2022. (Andrew Roth | Michigan Advance)

Just hours after Republican gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon named former state Rep. Shane Hernandez (R-Port Huron) as her choice for lieutenant governor, one of her former competitors has said he may make a run for the No. 2 spot.

Garrett Soldano, a Kalamazoo chiropractor, posted on Facebook Friday evening that as the state GOP convention approaches next week in Lansing, he has received messages of support for him to seek the nomination.

Garrett Soldano Facebook post, Aug. 19, 2022

“I will take these next few days and talk it over with Jennifer and the kids and stay in prayer,” said Soldano. “I will continue to do my best and do what is right for our state, but more importantly, for the PEOPLE in our state. 

“God bless you, God bless the State of Michigan and God bless the United States. #hammerdown”

The nominee’s choice of a running mate, while traditionally a foregone conclusion, is by no means the final word. Dixon’s selection of Hernandez, which came just 45 minutes before the Michigan GOP deadline, must still be approved by delegates at the convention. 

The Republican faces Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Nov. 8. Her running mate is Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist of Detroit.

Dixon won the endorsement from former President Donald Trump, which disappointed some of his Michigan supporters who said she was too “establishment” due to her backing from the billionaire DeVos family. There’s been concern that GOP delegates would nix a lieutenant governor pick who wasn’t deemed right-wing enough.

If the party rejects her pick by not offering an “affirmative vote” for Hernandez, Dixon may address the convention, resubmit her choice or submit a new candidate for consideration. Party rules allow nominations to also be submitted from the floor of the convention if Dixon’s second nomination were to be rejected.

The Michigan Republican Party has not issued a statement on Dixon choosing Hernandez. Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock, a close Trump ally who’s usually active on social media, has not made any comment.

Hernandez, who told the Detroit News Friday morning that he hadn’t spoken to Dixon about the No. 2 job, joined Dixon in a campaign video released after Soldano’s message Friday night.

Soldano’s potential run to join Dixon on the ticket would create an awkward pairing. Although the third-place finisher conceded on election night and urged support for Dixon, he has been openly critical of her since her primary win for not doing public events.

“You can’t run from the basement and beat Whitmer! Get out and talk to people!” Soldano wrote on Twitter Monday in response to political strategist Jeff Timmer, a former Michigan GOP executive director who’s now with the Lincoln Project, noting that Dixon has largely kept a low profile following her primary win.

Most of Dixon’s post-primary appearances have been on conservative Fox News.

Soldano finished behind businessman Kevin Rinke and Dixon. Ryan Kelley, a far-right activist who’s facing charges linked to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and placed fourth, said earlier on Friday that he wouldn’t accept the LG slot. He is concentrating his effort on opposing two likely ballot measures expanding voting rights and legalizing abortion.


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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2021 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell, where he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Livingston Diversity Council.