LANSING, Mich. (CBS Detroit/AP) — Former owner of Detroit-area car dealerships, Kevin Rinke, has launched his campaign for Michigan governor on Monday with TV and digital ads touting himself as a conservative outsider and criticizing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Rinke said he is prepared to spend millions of his own money in the 2022 GOP primary, the winner of which will face the first-term Democratic governor.
He led Rinke Automotive Group, which was founded by his family, before later helming a traumatic brain injury center, a health care company and becoming a private investor.
In a statement, Rinke said voters “want a leader to put at end to Gov. Whitmer’s assault on our values and our way of life.”
Rinke, who had previously formed a committee to explore a bid, is the 11th Republican in a field that includes former Detroit police chief James Craig, chiropractor Garrett Soldano and ex-conservative online news host Tudor Dixon.
According to The Detroit News, one of Rinke’s advisors said in July that the businessman was planning a $10 million initial investment in his campaign.
But as of Monday, the GOP candidate who has raised the most money is former Detroit police chief James Craig with $1.4 million, followed by chiropractor Garrett Soldano with $1.1 million.
Rinke and 10 other candidates have formed committees to seek the GOP nomination in August 2022, The Detroit News reports.
Michigan Democratic Party spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite said Rinke’s entrance into the race throws the “crowded primary of extremists into even more chaos. Rinke’s millions won’t save him from being held accountable by Michiganders on issues like infrastructure and the criminalization of abortion, which need to be addressed in order to keep our working families first.”
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