In preparation for the Michigan Democratic Party statewide nominating convention on Saturday, August 23rd, the MDP
will announce announced today (see update below) that Detroit civil rights attorney and Wayne State adjunct law professor Godfrey Dillard will be the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State. Dillard had planned to run for Attorney General along with Mark Totten who has been running for AG for over a year now. His decision to run for Secretary of State avoids an unnecessary battle for the AG nomination and rounds out the Democratic ticket which will now have two white men (gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer and AG candidate Mark Totten), a white woman (Lt. Gov. candidate Lisa Brown), and an African American man (Sec. of State candidate Dillard.)
The move also provides some geographical diversity with candidates from southeastern Michigan, the northern Detroit suburbs, western Michigan, and southcentral Michigan.
Dillard will be running against incumbent Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. Johnson lost a legal battle to include a citizenship checkoff box on ballot application forms in 2012. A federal judge issued an injunction prohibiting the box after opponents filed a lawsuit claiming it was “unconstitutional and a violation of federal and state law.”
UPDATE: It’s official. Dillard has declared and issued this statement:
I’ve talked to families all over this state, and all of them say the same thing: in Michigan, our fundamental right to vote is incredibly valuable, but it’s threatened right now. Michigan is awash in unaccountable, unreported dark money. Our state needs a Secretary of State who will take on the entrenched special interests in Lansing – the same special interests who are corrupting Michigan’s political system with dark money every day. I’ve spent my career taking on special interests and working to empower normal citizens, and I’m looking forward to working alongside Michigan’s next governor Mark Schauer and legislative leaders as Secretary of State.