Following the announcement earlier this week by Lieutenant Governor John Cherry that he would not be running to succeed Governor Jennifer Granholm, the Michigan Democrats have been busy working on claiming the nomination. Earlier today Andy Dillon, the Speaker of the House, announced his interest for running for the Deomcratic nomination for the gubernatorial seat. Other key Deomcrats from around Michigan such as Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano have announced that they will not be entering a bid for the nomination while other big ticket names like Debbie Stabanow have not commented on the possibility of a run for the nod.
Earlier this week Cherry said that he was unable to attain the necessary fund raising that he required to make a successful bid for the nomination. Despite this many speculate that it is his unwillingness to distance himself from Granholm that makes it difficult for him to find the backing that is necessary for a successful run for the nomination let alone the office itself. Boasting low approval ratings for the past several years Governor Granholm has had a pair of challenging terms running the state.
Coming into a massive deficit and one of the harshest recessions to hit the country let alone the state in decades she has had a difficult situation in front of her and for the state itself. After eight years many of the state's citizens are dissatisfied with the job she has been doing. Facing the new governor will be many of the same issues as Michigan is still one of the hardest hit states in the country by the current recession after not fully recovering from the one that started in 2001.
The changing political climate with these recent announcements will be a political change in tactics for both parties in the upcoming November election. With new candidates that aren't connected to the governor coming into focus Republicans will have to rethink strategies to both attack and defend rather then attacking connections to the outgoing office, while state Democrats will have to rally around the new candidate while distancing themselves from the current office to show that they still have what it takes to run the state and get Michigan back into working order.
This year will be wrought with political changes to the landscape in Michigan and dealing with the new strategies that will be brought forth to try to remove the state from its currently weakened and wounded economic position. As both parties prepare to march forth and show us their candidates and the relevant platforms we will all be treated to new ideas and hopefully new opportunities for the new decade that we face in Michigan.