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Who is on Michigan’s August primary ballot for governor, Congress

Candidates for Michigan’s August 2 primary election were finalized by the Secretary of State’s Office on June 3. (Shutterstock)

July 22: Ryan Kelley survives ‘insurrection’ eligibility suit for Michigan governor
July 20: Michigan GOP governor hopefuls ‘at each other’s throats’ in feisty debate
July 20: Garrett Soldano to Donald Trump: Stay out of the Michigan governor’s race
July 11: Ryan Kelley: Firebrand activist ‘100% unapologetic’ in Michigan governor bid
July 8: Kevin Rinke channels Trump’s business outsider label in MI governor’s race
July 6: Michigan GOP candidates spar on conservative credentials, tax cuts

LANSING — With candidate disqualifications and a signature fraud scandal, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind for Michigan politics ahead of the Aug. 2 primary election.

Several ballot initiatives did not meet state-mandated deadlines last week because they did not get enough valid signatures, while five of 10 Republicans seeking to take on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were disqualified from the ballot because they submitted false signatures in their nominating forms.


Down-ballot, more than 40 other candidates seeking offices from state House to judgeships were disqualified because of a host of factors, ranging from signatures to campaign finance violations.


The Michigan Secretary of State last week finalized its candidate listing for the primary.

Candidates for attorney general, secretary of state and education boards will be formally nominated by both parties after the primary. 

The candidates are all but guaranteed, however, to be Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for the Democrats and Matthew DePerno (attorney general) and Kristina Karamo (secretary of state) for Republicans. 

Only one ballot initiative aiming to change state laws gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot: Michiganders for Fair Lending, a proposal to cap the annual interest rates for payday loans at 36 percent and allow the state attorney general to prosecute lenders who exceed that rate. 

While many others fell short of signatures, the Legislature in May voted to place another petition drive, to reform Michigan’s term limit law, directly on the November ballot.

Organizers pushing for three constitutional amendments — to reform voting laws and enshrine abortion as a state right — have a later deadline, July 11, to turn in petitions, and they are still gathering signatures. 

Here’s a list of major races on the August ballot. Check the Secretary of State for state Legislature and other races.


Candidates for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and the Michigan Supreme Court are nominated at conventions. Nine candidates for governor either withdrew or were disqualified from the August primary election. 

The winners of the Aug. 2 primary will face off at the Nov. 8 general election. 

Democrats: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing

Related: Whitmer first ad: ‘No new taxes.’ GOP: Not for the lack of trying.

Republicans: Tudor Dixon, a media personality from Norton Shores; Ryan Kelley, an activist from Allendale; pastor Ralph Rebandt of Farmington Hills; businessman Kevin Rinke of Bloomfield Township and chiropractor Garrett Soldano of Kalamazoo.

Off the ballot: Michael Brown, a state police captain; Donna Brandenburg, a Byron Center business owner; James Craig, a former Detroit Police chief; Perry Johnson, a metro Detroit business owner and Michael Markey, a Grand Haven financial adviser

Related: James Craig to run as write-in for Michigan governor: ‘Everything is possible.’

As of June 7, Markey and Brown have dropped out, while the others are still pursuing lawsuits in an effort to make the ballot. On June 3, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected suits from Craig, Johnson and Markey.

The U.S. House of Representatives 

Michigan’s congressional delegation is now split 7-7 between Democrats and Republicans, but the state is losing a seat because of the stagnant population. For the first time, a citizens panel drew the district lines. 

1st District: Includes all of the Upper Peninsula and 20 counties in the Lower Peninsula from Emmet to Arenac. The northern part of Wexford County is also included in the district. 

Republicans: Incumbent Jack Bergman who has represented the district since 2017.

Democrats: Former Marquette County Health Department Director Robert Lorinser.

2nd District: Includes 15 northern Lower Peninsula’s western counties from Manistee to Barry. Parts of Eaton, Kent, Midland, Muskego and Wexford counties are also included.

Democrats: Former teacher Jerry Hilliard of Mount Pleasant

Republicans: Incumbent John Moolenaar of Midland who has represented the district since 2015 and veterans advocate Thomas Norton of Courtland Township.

3rd District: Includes southern Muskegon County, southwestern Kent County and northern Ottawa County. 

Democrats: Lawyer and former Department of Justice official Hillary Scholten of Grand Rapids

Republicans: First-term incumbent Peter Meijer of Grand Rapids and former assistant secretary for the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency John Gibbs.

4th District: Includes the southern part of Ottawa, Allegan, Van Buren counties, most of Kalamazoo County, the northern tip of Berrien and the northwest part of Calhoun counties. 

Democrats: No Democrats are running for this seat. 

Republicans: Incumbent Bill Huizenga, who has represented the district since 2011. 

5th District: Includes the southern end of Kalamazoo County, most of Calhoun County, most of Berrien County, and Cass, St. Joseph, Branch, Hillsdale, Jackson, Monroe and Lenawee counties. 

Democrats: Lawyer Bart Goldberg of New Buffalo

Republicans: Physician Sherry O’Donnell of Stevensville and incumbent Tim Walberg of Jackson, who has represented the district since 2011. 

6th District: Includes Washtenaw County and the western part of Wayne County. 

Democrats: Incumbent Debbie Dingell of Dearborn, who has been in Congress since 2015.

Republicans: Businesswoman Hima Kolanagireddy of Novi and Whittney Williams of Canton Township. 

7th District: Includes most of Eaton County and Ingham, Livingston, Shiawassee and Clinton counties. 

Democrats: Two-term incumbent Elissa Slotkin, of Holly in the 9th District.

Republicans: State Rep. Tom Barrett of Charlotte

8th District: Includes Saginaw, Bay and Genesee counties as well as more than half of Midland County and a very small area of Tuscola County. 

Democrats: Incumbent Dan Kildee of Flint who has represented the district since 2013.

Republicans: Paul Junge, a lawyer from Fenton, retired businesswoman Candice Miller, and GOP state committeeman Matthew Seely of Davison.

9th District: Includes seven Michigan counties from Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac, Lapeer, St. Clair counties and parts of Macomb and Oakland counties. 

Democrats: Lawyer Brian Jaye of Rochester

Republicans: First-term incumbent Lisa McClain of Romeo and attorney Michelle Donovan from New Baltimore.

10th District: Includes most of Macomb County and the northeast corner of Oakland County. 

Democrats: Attorney Huwaida Arraf from Macomb, former judge Carl Marlinga of Sterling Heights, Rhonda Powell of Warren and former state representative Henry Yanez of Sterling Heights.

Republicans: Businessman John James of Southfield and software engineer Tony Marcinkewciz of Macomb. 

11th District: Includes most of Oakland County. 

Democrats: Two-term U.S. Rep. Andy Levin of Bloomfield Township two-term U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens of Waterford. The incumbents are facing each other because the new district lines combined their districts into the 11th District. 

Republicans: Mark Ambrose of Bloomfield Township and businessman Matthew DenOtter of Waterford.

12th District: Includes the northwestern part of Wayne County.

Democrats: Two-term incumbent Rashida Tlaib, Lathrup Village Mayor Kelly Garrett, former state Rep. Shanelle Jackson of Detroit and Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey


Republicans: Businessman Steven Elliott of Rochester Hills, James Hooper of Livonia and Hassan Nehme of Dearborn Heights. 

13th District: Includes the eastern part of Wayne County, including Detroit. 

Democrats: Businessman Shri Thanedar of Detroit, manufacturer Lorrie Rutledge of Detroit, nonprofit CEO Portia Roberson of Detroit, political consultant Sam Riddle of Detroit, state Sen. Adam Hollier of Detroit, civil-rights lawyer Michael Griffie of Detroit, former state  Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo of Detroit and John Conyers III  of Detroit.

Republicans: Martell Bivings of Detroit

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