Shri Thanedar is officially running for State House


Shri Thanedar at Metro Times' office. - TOM PERKINS
  • Tom Perkins
  • Shri Thanedar at Metro Times' office.

It's official: Multimillionaire businessman and failed 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar is running for state representative of Michigan's 3rd House District.

Well, Thanedar's gubernatorial campaign wasn't a total failure. Though he came in last in the Democratic primary, Thanedar earned more than 200,000 votes, and narrowly won Detroit. That, as well as the fact that Thanedar moved to Detroit's Palmer Park neighborhood over the summer, fueled speculation that the 65-year-old was running for another office.

According to a press release, Thanedar will officially make the announcement at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at his campaign headquarters at 19472 Livernois Ave., Detroit, in the historic Avenue of Fashion.

The 3rd House District includes a section of north Detroit bound by Eight Mile Road to McNichols Road, and Livernois Avenue to Gratiot Avenue. Current State Rep. Wendell Byrd is out due to term limits.

"Detroit showed me great love and respect in my campaign for Michigan Governor last year," Thanedar said in a statement. "I want to be an advocate for Detroit in Lansing because if Detroit succeeds, the entire state of Michigan succeeds. ... We've seen a lot of progress in downtown, but the neighborhoods are still hurting."

The press release continues: "Detroiters resonated with Thanedar’s story of fighting from poverty to prosperity and appreciated that Thanedar largely self-funded his campaign and accepted no PAC contributions, ensuring that he was truly unbought and unbossed." Thanedar wrote about his experiences growing up as an Indian immigrant in The Blue Suitcase, his 2008 memoir. It was also adapted into a stage play in Detroit in 2018.

As a gubernatorial candidate, Thanedar supported a $15 minimum wage increase, reining in tax subsidies for corporations, decriminalizing marijuana, and Medicare for All. But his campaign was also rocked by a scandal alleging that Thanedar's former pharmaceutical company abandoned test lab animals, including dogs and monkeys, after it went bankrupt in 2010. Earlier this year, Thanedar settled a business fraud lawsuit days before it was set to go to trial.

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