AG race starting to get interesting

The candidates for state attorney general are coming out of the woodwork with more inside.

Pat Miles is running. Dana Nessel is running and so are Tom Leonard and Tonya Schuitmaker and you’re going who in the heck are they?

You’re right They are virtually unknown except in their hometowns and in our town but now that they are on the campaign trial they’re hoping to gain some political traction.

But their target audience right now is limited to folks who will be attending the state GOP and Democratic conventions next year because AG candidates are not chosen by general election voters until next November. Party delegates will pick the nominee first.

Democrat Pat Miles is the former U.S. attorney for 49 counties in West Michigan appointed by former President Obama and broomed out of office by the current President Donald Trump.

Dana Nassel is an openly gay lawyer from Detroit whose claim to fame is winning a protracted court fight to allow two gay women to adopt a child.

Tom Leonard is the GOP Speaker of the Michigan House and Tonya Schuitmaker is the GOP senator from West Michigan.

Ms. Schuitmaker is in the race even though she was pressured to stay out. She thumbed her nose at those detractors setting up this inter house battle with the Speaker. He will have the support of the current attorney general and would-be-governor Bill Schuette and in a convention floor fight that helps Mr. Leonard lots. Not so much for her.

Mr. Miles appeared on statewide Public TV recently and suggested that while all the other candidates will tell you what they will do, he boasts a record of what he has done to fight the bad guys and protect public safety.

What he didn’t do was take a position on legalized pot, medical marijuana, Sanctury cities, and the flap over kneeling during the national anthem. He did say he favored a limited use of capital punishment for serial killers, mass murders and terrorists. He would also shutdown Pipeline 5 beneath the Straits of Mackinac and would be “the people’s lawyer” if elected.

Ms. Nessel followed him on the same Off the Record broadcast (watch at wkar.org) and criticized him for not taking a stance of those issues. She did.

She’s for legalizing pot, against capital punishment, would also shut off Pipeline 5, and points to her record of also fighting the criminal element as assistant Wayne County prosecutor.

One of her political challenges is her gender. There could be a female Democrat running for governor; one running for Secretary of State and the popular wisdom is another female for AG would not provide any gender “balance.”

She debunks the popular wisdom suggesting that an all female ticket would be a “boon” for the party and not the “drag” that some fear. And just to underscore the “sexist”nature of all this, she notes, “the last time four men were on the statewide ticket, nobody complained about that.”

The two GOP candidates have not been cross examined yet but will have their time in the barrel.

Meanwhile Democrat State Sen. Steve Bieda from Macomb County and Oakland County Democrat Rep.Tim Greimel have made noises about running but remain in the woodwork for now.


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