“Unity is the key,” Dixon Must Unite Party to Compete With Whitmer
It happens after every hard fought primary election, the parties have to pick up the pieces and put them back together to fight for November. This year, it’s the Republicans’ turn.
Hundreds of thousands of Republicans, who may not want Dixon as governor, now have to back her if they want to win in November.
“Unity is the key,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer will have her base. She’s the incumbent and Michigan historically re-elected incumbents. So if Dixon wants a chance to unseat her, she will need the entire Republican party behind her.
“Unifying the party after a contentious primary is something that happens every four years,” said John Sellek, founder of Harbor Strategic, “We saw it 4 years ago when Bill Schuette and Brian Calley and few others ran against each other.”
And they lost to Whitmer.
This year, five very different candidates appealed to different corners of the party. Supporters of grassroots candidates like Garrett Soldano and Ryan Kelley don’t seem big on the traditional backing Dixon received.
“We’ve got to make sure those other candidates come behind Tudor and realize the ultimate goal,” said Huizenga, “It’s to make sure Gretchen Whitmer doesn’t come back to the governor’s mansion.”
“They said that they would support whoever came through and I’m pretty sure they will,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, “Because they realize what is at stake.”
You could see the reaction on social media, lifelong Republicans calling Dixon a “Whitmer 2.0” with some saying a ‘hard pass on both.’
Kelley supporters stated on his Facebook page they will not vote Republican and stick with their candidate.
“The battle lines in this race couldn’t be any clearer,” said Dixon during her victory speech.
Those lines should be Republicans against Whitmer. Kelley is a candidate yet to concede or even congratulate, let alone support, Dixon. There are three months until the general election but just a few weeks until the GOP Nominating Convention. A few weeks for emotions to simmer and the party to reset.
“The other thing that will happen at the convention, that will help with that unity, is her pick for lieutenant governor,” said Sellek.
Will she stick with her base?With the so-called ‘establishment’ pick? Or reach out to the grassroots efforts? One thing is for sure, they will make the choice they think increases their odds the most.
“I’m going to need each and every one of you to keep after it,” said Dixon, “To keep fighting for this state that we love so much.”