(East Lansing, MI - WHTC News) - The top of Michigan's Republican Party ticket for the November 2nd general election was established on Saturday during the state GOP convention at Michigan State's Breslin Center.
While gubernatorial nominee Rick Snyder, who beat out four other men in the August 3rd primary election, called for unity and a welcome mat to independents and disgruntled Democrats in his acceptance speech, the man he tabbed as his running mate, State Rep. Brian Calley (R-Portland) didn't get a fight for the lieutenant governor nomination as some might have thought. Some Tea Party members had made a last-second push for Norton Shores businessman Bill Cooper, but he withdrew after an initial show of hands on the convention floor showed strong support for Calley. Cooper had been endorsed by the Tea Party's iCaucus for the GOP nomination in the 2nd Congressional District primary, but he was a distant fourth to eventual nominee Bill Huizenga of Zeeland.
It only took one vote on the floor for delegates to select Bill Schuette as the Republican Attorney General nominee, for he defeated State Senator Mike Bishop by 100 votes. However, two ballots were needed to determine a GOP Secretary of State nominee, as Ruth Johnson eventually emerged with the nod by 115 votes over Cameron Brown.
The other nomination of note was for the state Supreme Court, as Mary Beth Kelly will be the GOP standard bearer in that race. The seat flipped from Republican to Democrat this week when Elizabeth Weaver abruptly retired and Alton Davis was selected by fellow Democrat Governor Granholm to replace her. There was speculation that Weaver wasn't going to be renominated by the GOP at this convention before her decision to step down. Robert Young was nominated by the party in his attempt to gain reelection to Michigan's court of last resort.
While the Republicans only took one day to hold their convention, state Democrats are spreading their convention over two days at Detroit's Cobo Center this weekend. Gubernatorial nominee Virgil Bernero kicked off the proceedings on Saturday by formally announcing Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence as his running mate.
-Gary Stevens, WHTC/WYVN News