Politics Corner

Behind the ballot

Michigan has a couple big names running for governor on the ballot for the Nov. 6 election, but outside of Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and Republican Bill Schuette, the election will feature four other candidates.

With less than a week until the election, many Ferris students are still unsure who they will be voting for. Ferris Spanish for professions junior Adam Thompson said he still has to do more research before he heads to the polls.

“I don’t believe it’s just a two-party system. I think that what really matters is that you look into the candidates, what they’re looking to do and what they have backed in the past,” Thompson said. “As long as I see someone is consistently making decisions that will benefit me and my life moving forward, that’s who I’ll lean towards regardless of party.”

While many are still undecided, some Bulldogs have already done their homework and are prepared to head to the polls to vote for their candidate. Ferris technical and professional communication junior and College Republicans President Kendyl Kirkland said her Nov. 6 vote will be for Bill Schuette.

“Michiganders have a lot on the line this election. In addition to the many state House and Senate seats, we have the national Senate seat also being contested. Michiganders are thinking about bigger paychecks, better healthcare, and lower auto insurance rates. These issues are ones that Republicans will deliver on, without hiking up our taxes,” Kirkland said. “I believe in Republican leadership because they are committed to protecting our rights, initiating economy-boosting policies, and making sure Michigan will continue our comeback from the Democratic lost decade.”


Gretchen Whitmer, Democrat

Whitmer has campaigned on creating a stronger middle-class, with much of her focus on issues such as increasing public school funding, skills training institutions, water quality and infrastructure. One of her more popular slogans throughout the campaign has been “Fix the damn roads,” in reference to her goals of fixing Michigan infrastructure, including roads, and solving the Flint water crisis.

Three takeaways:

-Invest in infrastructure and education

-Affordable healthcare, including funding Planned Parenthood

-More training for skilled jobs


Bill Schuette, Republican

Schuette has titled himself the “Jobs Governor” and has an economic policy structured around growth. Schuette has campaigned on economic policies that include lowering taxes and cutting auto insurance rates in order to keep people in Michigan and allow them to keep more of their money. By growing the population and economy, Schuette plans to become a leading economic state and create a better state infrastructure.

Three takeaways:

-Cut taxes and auto insurance rates

-Create economic and population growth

-Improve third-grade reading scores to make Michigan a more attractive place to live


Jennifer V. Kurland, Green Party

Kurland has campaigned on issues such as increasing school funding, investing in infrastructure and, as a former manager of Clean Water Action, has been an advocate for protecting Michigan’s water. Kurland has also called for increased funding for police and a database of all police encounters to better address racism in policing.

Three takeaways:

-Increase school and police funding

-Invest in infrastructure

-Invest in small business and encourage Michiganders to start businesses


Todd Schleiger, U.S. Taxpayers Party

Like many of his opponents, Schleiger has focused on funding schools, but has also campaigned on increasing jobs in Michigan through tax incentives and using a higher percentage of the gas tax towards road maintenance. Schleiger also wants to lower auto insurance by making Michigan an at-fault insurance state again.

Three takeways:

-Increase jobs through tax incentives

-Use gas tax to fix roads

-Decrease auto insurance rates


Keith Butkovich, Natural Law Party

Butkovich has arguably the smallest chance of being elected and made his way onto the ballot with the least amount of votes out of the six candidates, receiving only 1,838. A former Libertarian, Butkovich has aligned himself with views of personal freedom, including legalizing drugs and eliminating taxes.

Three takeaways:

-Legalize drugs

-Eliminate taxes

-Eliminate roundabouts


Bill Gelineau, Libertarian

As a Libertarian, Gelineau has campaigned on issues regarding personal freedom, including legalization of marijuana, but has also focused on environmental protections and decreasing the prison population by as much as 30 percent through marijuana legalization.

Three takeaways:

-Legalize marijuana

-Decrease prison population

-Environmental protections, partially through electric mass transit in urban areas