Here’s who endorsed the 2018 Michigan governor candidates

Republican Bill Schuette counts major business groups and incumbent President Donald Trump in his corner, while Democrat Gretchen Whitmer has the backing of labor unions and former President Barack Obama.

November 6: Gretchen Whitmer projected winner in Michigan governor race

After Republican Bill Schuette and Democrat Gretchen Whitmer won their respective primary races for governor, one political science professor told Bridge that the ensuing general election campaign would be a showdown between “an old-style Republican and Democrat.”

Support for Schuette, Michigan’s Attorney General since 2011, and Whitmer, a former state Senate Minority Leader, in the race to succeed Republican Gov. Rick Snyder generally falls along those traditional partisan lines. (Though Snyder has declined to support Schuette, reflecting the prickly relationship of the two Republican leaders.)

2018 Michigan statewide election endorsements

Bridge Magazine has compiled a list of endorsements received by major party candidates for statewide office this year from elected politicians, organizations and other notable people. Other coverage:

Here’s who endorsed the 2018 Michigan Secretary of State candidates 

Here’s who has endorsed the 2018 Michigan Attorney General candidates

Schuette has more support from business groups, while Whitmer has the backing of labor unions. Two presidents have entered the fray, with sitting President Donald Trump endorsing Schuette and former President Barack Obama pulling for Whitmer.

See who’s supporting both major-party candidates, with just days to go until Michigan residents go to the polls Nov. 6.

Bill Schuette - Republican

Elected politicians (in federal office, or from other states)

  • President Donald Trump
  • Vice President Mike Pence
  • U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Dryden
  • U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland
  • U.S. Rep. Dave Trott, R-Birmingham
  • U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
  • Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi

Elected state politicians (Michigan)

Business groups

  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  • Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Business Leaders for Michigan
  • Michigan Restaurant Association
  • Michigan Retailers Association
  • Michigan Manufacturers Association
  • Michigan Realtors
  • Michigan Farm Bureau
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan
  • Small Business Association of Michigan
  • National Federation of Independent Business

Other organizations

  • Police Officers Association of Michigan
  • Detroit Police Officers Association
  • Detroit Fire Fighters Association
  • Right to Life of Michigan PAC
  • National Rifle Association-Political Victory Fund


  • Nolan Finley and Ingrid Jacques, The Detroit News

Other notables

  • Ted Nugent, rock musician and Republican provocateur
  • Kathy Berden, Republican National Committeewoman for Michigan
  • Larry Arnn, Hillsdale College president
  • Clark Durant, former president of the State Board of Education, cofounder and former CEO Cornerstone Schools
  • Dan DeGrow, retired superintendent of St. Clair County ISD, former Michigan Senate Majority Leader
  • Jane Abraham, chairman of the board for the Susan B. Anthony List, former co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party
  • Spencer Abraham, former U.S. Energy Secretary and U.S. senator from Michigan, former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party
  • Michigan Trump for President Co-Chair John Akouri

Related: 2018 Bridge Michigan Voter Guide: Links to our relevant election coverage

Gretchen Whitmer - Democrat

Elected politicians (in federal office, or from other states)

  • Former President Barack Obama
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit
  • Former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz, R-Battle Creek
  • U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak
  • U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township
  • U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield
  • U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn
  • U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

Elected state politicians (Michigan)

  • Former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard
  • Former Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley
  • Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan
  • Wayne County Executive Warren Evans
  • Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy
  • Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon
  • Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel
  • Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith
  • Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham
  • Lansing Mayor Andy Schor
  • 48 state lawmakers

Business groups

  • Detroit Regional Chamber (in both the Democratic primary and general elections)

Labor groups

  • United Auto Workers
  • Michigan AFL-CIO
  • Michigan Education Association
  • American Federation of Teachers Michigan
  • Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union
  • Michigan Construction and Building Trades Council
  • Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights
  • Michigan State Utility Workers Council
  • Michigan Pipe Trades Association
  • Michigan Joint Council of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District 1M
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Michigan State Conference
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 876 and 951
  • Communications Workers of America District 4
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council #43
  • Michigan Laborers District Council
  • AFSCME Council 25
  • SEIU’s Michigan State Council
  • Michigan Corrections Organization
  • United Steelworkers District 2
  • Operating Engineers 324

Other organizations

  • Arab American Political Action Committee
  • Michigan Association of Police Organizations
  • Michigan Fraternal Order of Police
  • EMILY’s List
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America
  • Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan
  • Progressive Women’s Alliance
  • Michigan League of Conservation Voters
  • MI List
  • Equality Michigan Pride PAC
  • MILegalize PAC, which advocates for marijuana legalization
  • Black Economic Alliance
  • Veterans for Whitmer
  • Republicans and Independents for Whitmer


  • Detroit Free Press
  • Port Huron Times Herald
  • Lansing State Journal
  • Michigan Chronicle
  • CM Life (Central Michigan University student newspaper)
  • Detroit Jewish News

Other notables

  • Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
  • Abdul El-Sayed, former Detroit health director/Democratic candidate for governor
  • Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Flint pediatrician whose research helped expose the Flint water crisis
  • Mel Larsen, former Michigan Republican Party chairman
  • Jim Nash, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner
  • Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner

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Wed, 10/31/2018 - 9:00am

Endorsements are just like opinions that are just like certain body parts that everyone has. We need voters to concentrate less on what others are telling them to do, and concentrate more on learning for themselves what a candidate has done. In this case, past performance is a good indicator of future actions.

I would also like to thank Bridge for not endorsing anyone. It helps a little toward your goal of being an impartial news source. Now if you could just practice that for the other 364 days of the year......

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 9:04am

Thanks for the list. I think the list shows that, as many know, that endorsements are almost 100% based on party affiliations. Is it a shock unions support Democrats? Or Right To Life supports a Republican?

How much value do endorsements really have these days? I understand riding a wave and coat tails, but do endorsements matter?

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 9:08am

I think that Schuette is not a good candidate; but, I hope he will be a good governor, if elected. I believe that Whitmer would be a return to the days of Granholm, only worse.

Anne Woiwode
Wed, 10/31/2018 - 9:35am

One oversight in identifying organizations supporting Gretchen Whitmer is that every environmental organizations that does endorsements have endorsed her for governor. The Sierra Club, Michigan League of Conservation Voters and Clean Water Action have all wholeheartedly endorsed Gretchen Whitmer. See the Sierra Club's position here:

Mabelle Kirk
Wed, 10/31/2018 - 10:13am

Didn't see Debbie Stabenow's name as a Whitmer supporter. Was that purposeful or accidental?

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 3:30pm

What a pathetic waste of anyone's time to produce this article(?), and the next 2 following. As if there's any surprises? There's got to be better things to look into for an article(s).

Sherene Jones
Thu, 11/01/2018 - 9:13pm

When Ted Nugent endorses you, that’s not a feather in your cap.

Sun, 11/04/2018 - 2:06pm

Yup. Just another draft dodger, racist endorsement. Funny how many there are for Trump and Schuette. Says something, doesn't it?
It's the friends you keep. With friends like those, who needs enemies?