Advance Notice: Briefs

GOP businessman launches Michigan gov. exploratory committee, pledges $10M of his own funds

By: - September 10, 2021 12:29 pm

Susan J. Demas photo

Metro Detroit businessman Kevin Rinke is the newest and 10th Republican to publicly consider challenging Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for in 2022.

Rinke, of Bloomfield Hills, is a third-generation auto dealer and cites his business expertise as his defining feature as a candidate, similar to another self-funder, GOP former Gov. Rick Snyder. Rinke said during an interview Wednesday that he is launching an exploratory committee and would personally spend an “initial investment” of at least $10 million in a bid for Michigan’s executive office.

Rinke penned an op-ed for Fox News on June 4 chastising Whitmer for her leadership throughout the ongoing COVID-19, pandemic, writing in part: “If we had run our business the way Governor Whitmer ran this state, we’d be ridiculed, scorned, and bankrupt — and rightfully so.”

Some of his fellow challengers include former Detroit Police Chief James Craig; conservative commentator Tudor Dixon; and Garrett Soldano, chiropractor and former Unlock Michigan co-chair.

Whitmer, so far, has no challengers from her own party.

A request for comment via Rinke’s social media was not immediately returned. In previous emails to the media, Rinke has written that “Michigan deserves leaders that have real experience working in the private and public sectors, people that have proven to be accountable to employees and customers, leaders that understand what it takes.”

The Republican nominee for governor will be determined in an August 2022 primary.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).