MIDLAND, Mich. - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette officially announced Tuesday that he will enter the race for governor.
Speaking in front of a hometown crowd in Midland, Schuette urged Michigan residents to to "cop a new attitude about Michigan, because we won’t settle for less."
"I am running for governor because it is time for Michigan to lead the world again, to usher in a new era of jobs, opportunity and prosperity," Schuette said. "I don’t believe our best days are behind us, but directly ahead of us. I will be a governor who doesn’t ask families to make due with less, while Lansing does less with more. I will be the governor – the jobs governor – who cuts taxes and gives Michigan families a pay raise."
Schuette said Michigan stands at a critical crossroads, facing a choice between going backward with the lieutenants of the Jennifer Granholm administration, or going forward by copping an attitude and refusing to accept a declining, shrinking Michigan.
"Because we know this for sure: The only thing that got blown away during Jennifer Granholm’s governorship were the hopes and dreams and aspirations of Michigan families," Schuette said. "The Granholm team wants to take us back ... back to the lost decade. You might even call it the Lost Decade, Part 2. And this is one sequel nobody wants to experience."
Schuette said that while things are better in Michigan under Republican leadership, the state will reach new heights "only when our leaders possess big dreams, have big aspirations and achieve big results."
Schuette pointed to wins as attorney general on issues such as working to end human trafficking, solving cold-case sexual assault cases and terminating the pensions of Detroit school principals who stole millions from students.
Whitmer campaign releases statement
The Whitmer for Governor campaign released the following statement from Communications Director Annie Ellison after Schuette announced his candidacy:
"When the people of Michigan have needed a fighter, they've turned to Gretchen Whitmer because she has spent her career fearlessly taking on the status quo to put the people first, while Bill Schuette has put special interests and his own political gain ahead of peoples' lives. Whitmer continues to mobilize people across this state to take on our toughest challenges, so that everyone has a path to a better job, our kids get the education they deserve, and our government works for the people."
More from Schuette's campaign
Here's more information on Schuette's decision from his campaign.
Schuette has long made it a priority to meet with and listen to Michigan citizens, knowing it is a necessary part of delivering results for taxpayers. He has shared in moments of success and celebration with state residents, talked to job providers and listened to high school students. And, as attorney general, he has quietly spent hours with families who have suffered as victims of crime. Listening has been a full-time job, not a special occasion.
And what he hears from Michigan residents is that while Michigan has stabilized economically, it is not easy to keep up with rising bills and taxes, let alone to get ahead in today’s Michigan.
This has led him to decide to run for governor now, and to focus his candidacy on seeking bold ideas and a willingness to take on tough issues related to Michigan’s economy. "The Michigan I know must be about big hopes, bold dreams and boundless aspirations."
Schuette's initial policy agenda
Schuette unveiled these points in his initial policy agenda, including:
- Slash the Granholm income tax increase that was supposed to be rolled back-- but wasn’t. “We will drive a stake through the heart of the legacy of the Lost Decade and end the Granholm tax increase -- once and for all.”
- Attack auto insurance rates, which are the highest in the nation, pinching Michigan families’ wallets. “I will give people in Michigan a pay raise by passing real auto insurance reform.”
- Fight to protect our auto industry as Michigan competes with Silicon Valley and carmakers around the globe for the future of the auto industry. “The auto industry is our birthright, and we will fight to ensure the next generation of cars, built with the best technology, are built by the best workers, right here in Michigan.”
- Work with teachers to renew Michigan’s focus on achieving a quality education system. “We also know that teachers are valued and shape young minds. Let's work together for success.”
- Improve early reading skills, because Michigan’s reading scores are some of the lowest in the nation. We must nurture a love of learning with the goal for every student to be able to read by the third grade.
- Place a new emphasis on apprenticeships and vocational education, preparing students for a skilled trade, providing another pathway to progress in Michigan’s 21st century. “We need a governor who won’t who look down on manufacturing and the plumbers, electricians and builders, and other high-tech skilled trades that built our country and are needed to rebuild our infrastructure."
- “Whether they choose to be college ready or work-force ready, our high school graduates must be ready.”
- Create transportation scholarships for children who are trapped in failing schools, keeping them from accessing special programs or attending a different school.
- Fight President Obama’s federalization of our local classrooms and end Common Core.
Michigan’s residents, Schuette said, have "met the challenges of their times, inspiring awe and wonder at what could be possible if we only tried, were determined and worked hard. We had the belief we could be whatever we wanted to be. Because no one told us differently."
"Yet, as we stand here today, can we say the same for future generations of Michiganians?" Schuette asked. "I have had enough of small thinking, tiny steps and politicians who set their sights lower, boasting of success while carving up a shrinking pie. I reject the casual resignation and the grudging acceptance that the paychecks and jobs will go elsewhere and Michigan will have fewer and fewer people, becoming a smaller and smaller, less significant state. No way.
"My one goal, my singular ambition: is to make Michigan a growth state, a paycheck state, a jobs state. To achieve this, we must have a jobs governor. And, I want each and every citizen of Michigan to cop an attitude, cop a new attitude about our future."
About Bill Schuette
Here's more information on Schuette, released by members of his campaign:
Schuette is the 53rd Attorney General for the State of Michigan. As Michigan’s top law enforcement officer, Schuette has been a voice for victims. He helped create the anti-bullying and school violence program known as OK2SAY, formed the Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking, engineered the plan to fund testing of thousands of long-abandoned DNA evidence kits and led the effort to put 1,000 new cops on the street.
Schuette is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and studied at the University of Aberdeen, in Aberdeen, Scotland.
He received his law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law.
Schuette and his wife, Cynthia, reside in their hometown of Midland, Michigan, and are the parents of son Bill and daughter Heidi. They attend Messiah Lutheran Church in Midland and created the Michigan Harvest Gathering, a food and fund drive to benefit Michigan’s food banks that has raised more than $10 million and 10 millions pounds of food.
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