Betsy DeVos won’t run for Michigan governor as GOP searches for viable candidates

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Betsy DeVos and former President Donald Trump. - SHUTTERSTOCK
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  • Betsy DeVos and former President Donald Trump.

Michigan GOP billionaire Betsy DeVos, the controversial education secretary under former President Donald Trump, said Tuesday she will not run for governor in 2022.

“It’s not going to be me,” DeVos told The Detroit News. “I appreciate that some folks are interested in that, but I think the rumor and interest really only serves to highlight how desperate Michiganders are for new leadership."



Political observers had speculated that DeVos would run. The Capitol newsletter MIRS said DeVos “has been asked to consider a run by more than two people.”

Even Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign was preparing for DeVos to run, referencing her recently in a letter requesting donations, The Detroit Free Press reported last week.



"The political insiders have spent months recruiting a candidate to run against me, and they've found not one, but two: James Craig and Betsy DeVos," the letter read.

"The news of Betsy DeVos's run comes a day after I signed our public education budget," the letter continued. "DeVos is a threat to public education and the future of our state, and we need to be ready to counter her billionaire-funded campaign."

DeVos might have had a tough time getting support from Trump loyalists, who make up a strong faction of the Michigan GOP. She resigned as education secretary one day after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me," she wrote to Trump in her resignation letter.

Of the handful of Republicans who have formally announced their candidacy for governor so far, none has statewide name recognition.

Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig is a Fox News regular who launched a fundraising campaign in July and also went on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to say he’s “running” for governor. He is expected to make a formal announcement next month.
Other Republican candidates include Garrett Soldano, a Kalamazoo chiropractor who built his name opposing COVID-19 restrictions, and Ralph Rebandt II, an Oakland County pastor.

Republican candidates have a lot of work to do to catch up to Whitmer's fundraising prowess. Her campaign announced last month that she has raised $8.6 million for her reelection bid so far, breaking a record for the most money raised by a Michigan gubernatorial candidate in an off-year.

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