Garrett Soldano participates in a GOP gubernatorial debate as part of the Mackinac Island Policy Conference, June 2, 2022 | Laina G. Stebbins
After teasing a possible bid for lieutenant governor on Friday, then signaling over the weekend that he had begun actively campaigning to be GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon’s running mate, Kalamazoo chiropractor Garrett Soldano reversed course on Monday and announced that he will no longer be seeking the lieutenant governor spot.
The move will lessen the possibility of a floor fight over the position during the party’s nominating convention on Saturday, but does not rule it out as more candidates could still throw their hat in the ring.
Dixon announced on Friday that she had chosen former state Rep. Shane Hernandez (R-Port Huron) to be her running mate. She will face Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Nov. 8.
“Over the past 2 1/2 years, I have been absent from my two boys. It’s time I put all of my energy into them. I appreciate all the encouragement and support over the past 72 hours,” Soldano said in a tweet on Monday. “I have decided not to run for LT Governor.”
God, Family, Country 🇺🇸
Over the past 2 1/2 years, I have been absent from my two boys. It's time I put all of my energy into them.
I appreciate all the encouragement and support over the past 72 hours.
I have decided not to run for LT Governor.
— Garrett For Michigan (@GarrettForMI) August 22, 2022
Just one day prior, Soldano had posted a photo of he and presumptive Republican attorney general nominee Matt DePerno, saying they had discussed the importance of building a “stronger ticket” with “grassroots enthusiasm” over lunch.
Soldano was the third-place finisher in the Aug. 2 GOP primary behind Dixon and businessman Kevin Rinke.
Right-wing activist Ryan Kelley, who finished fourth in the five-candidate race, said he was interested in being LG last week, but announced Friday he would no longer accept the nomination.
Fifth-place finisher the Rev. Ralph Rebandt has not revoked his interest in the LG position.
If the party rejects Hernandez on Saturday by not offering an “affirmative vote” for him as LG, 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.
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