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 Article of Interest - Politics

Attention turns to the No. 2 spot:  Tom Watkins mentioned as possible running mate
Candidates need to secure strong running mates

By Chris Andrews and Stacey Range, Lansing State Journal, August 9, 2002

With Jennifer Granholm and Dick Posthumus inked in at the top of their tickets, Democrats and Republicans began the name game for running mates Wednesday.

Possible running mates


Here are some of the names being mentioned as running mates for Democrat Jennifer Granholm and Republican Dick Posthumus.


  • Democrats: Sen. John Cherry of Clio, Lansing Mayor David Hollister, state schools Superintendent Tom Watkins, state Rep. A.T. Frank, House Minority Leader Buzz Thomas  

  • Republicans: Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, state Sen. Joanne Emmons of Big Rapids, state Rep. Nancy Cassis of Novi, state Sen. Shirley Johnson of Royal Oak

  • Granholm, the Democratic attorney general, and Posthumus, the Republican lieutenant governor, will select their political partners before their party conventions later this month.

    Analysts say Granholm's surprisingly big win - she out polled former Gov. James Blanchard and U.S. Rep. David Bonior in all 83 counties - gives her wide discretion.

    "There's always talk of gender balance and regional balance, but it doesn't matter when you have a strong gubernatorial candidate," said Ed Sarpolus, vice president of the polling firm EPIC/MRA.

    The theory doesn't hold true for Posthumus, said Tom Shields, a Republican consultant who heads Marketing Research Group in Lansing.

    "Republicans really need to take a strong look at how they balance out the ticket," Shields said. "The last thing Republicans need is an all white, male ticket."

    Several names have been thrown out on both sides.

    For Granholm, much of the attention Wednesday focused on Senate Minority Leader John Cherry of Clio, outside Flint. He would have the strong backing of the UAW and the AFL-CIO, which backed Bonior in the primary.

    Granholm said she's counting on their enthusiastic support in the Nov. 5 election.

    "I know I cannot do it without my brothers and sisters in organized labor," she told Democrats at a unity breakfast in Detroit.

    Posthumus wouldn't say who he was considering as his running mate, but said he'll make an announcement before the Aug. 23 GOP convention in Lansing.

    Having a woman on the ticket is important, Posthumus said, but it's not a priority.

    "I need someone who will be able to take over as governor should anything happen to me," he said.

    The secretary of state is the only other spot where a woman's name has been circulating among Republicans. Former Kent County Clerk Terri Land is vying with state Sen. Loren Bennett of Canton for the party's nomination.

    Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Mike Cox likely will capture the attorney general GOP nomination.

    Unlike some previous elections, Democrats are expected to have little trouble putting together a diverse ticket, which Granholm and other Democrats have said is essential.

    Granholm's win puts a woman at the top of the ticket for the first time in state history, and Butch Hollo-well, a prominent black attorney from Detroit and close friend of Granholm's, is considered the front-runner for secretary of state.

    State Sen. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township has the inside track for the Democrats' attorney general nomination.

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