Michigan politicos are once again atwitter about Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and other Democrats allegedly trying to recruit an alternative to Gretchen Whitmer for governor. That's from a Bridge story this week following up on a Detroit News column in November. And I wrote a column for Dome Magazine back in October, going through the months-long history of the effort and analyzing what's behind it:
As things currently stand, the Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner is former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing), who served for more than 14 years in Lansing. Her top competition is Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the former Detroit Health Department head who’s in the Sanders mold and would be the nation’s first Muslim governor. There’s also businessman Shri Thanedar, who immigrated from India, and former executive Bill Cobbs, who’s African-American.
Most Democratic leaders and voters are fine with the field, which, after all, is pretty representative of the party.
But for the forces utterly convinced that a woman, Muslim, immigrant or African-American absolutely cannot win the top job in Michigan next year, the mission is clear: Find the Great White Male Hope.
But i's worth revisiting some history that's been forgotten.
Another Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Abdul El-Sayed, said during the April 28, 2017 edition of "Off the Record" that he expected to receive Duggan's announcement. That made some sense, as Duggan hired El-Sayed to run Detroit's health department, even though Duggan is the prototype of a moderate Dem and El-Sayed proudly hails from the Bernie Sanders wing. But apparently El-Sayed has been passed over if Duggan is looking to recruit another gubernatorial hopeful.
The exchange starts at 25:58.