politics

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A lobbyist who formerly worked at Kellogg Co. says he's seeking the Democratic nomination for a congressional seat in southwestern Michigan.

George Franklin wants the job now held by Republican U.S. Rep. Fred Upton.

He says he wants to "to keep making a difference and improving lives" in the 6th District.

Franklin was vice president of government relations at Kellogg until 2005 when he started his own public affairs shop. His website says Kellogg is a client.

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A Republican legislative leader is running to be Michigan's next attorney general.

House Speaker Tom Leonard announced his candidacy Thursday, saying he will "make Michigan stronger and safer."

He's the second Republican to enter the race, joining state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker. Republicans and Democrats will choose their attorney general candidates at conventions next summer.

The 36-year-old Leonard has led the House since January and is in his final House term due to term limits. He previously worked as an assistant prosecutor in Genesee County.

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A third Democrat is running for an open, Republican-leaning congressional seat in the Detroit suburbs.

Dan Haberman of Birmingham is a lawyer who runs a business that provides private office space and virtual office services. He announced his candidacy Thursday for the 11th Congressional District, joining Haley Stevens and Fayrouz Saad in the Democratic field.

Second-term Republican Rep. Dave Trott isn't seeking re-election.

Republican candidates include businesswoman Lena Epstein and Rocky Raczkowski, an Army veteran and former state lawmaker.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel found it "ironic" that students who voted for President Donald Trump felt shunned on campus after the 2016 election. Schlissel also wrote last year that he was "torn" about recommending appointees for the new administration. 

He said, "I can't imagine lending one's name to a Trump administration."

A third Democrat is entering the race for an open, Republican-leaning congressional seat in the Detroit suburbs. Dan Haberman of Troy is a lawyer who runs a business that provides private office space and virtual office services. He's announcing his candidacy Thursday for the 11th Congressional District, joining Haley Stevens and Fayrouz Saad in the Democratic field. 

Grand Rapids native and former U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles Jr. stood outside his former high school Ottawa Hills and officially announced his candidacy for Michigan Attorney General on Thursday. Appointed by President Barack Obama, a personal friend and fellow Harvard Law School graduate, Miles served five years as a United States attorney in the Western District of Michigan.

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Michigan State Representative Winnie Brinks is looking to extend her career in politics, officially announcing her run for the State Senate in the 29th district Thursday afternoon in East Grand Rapids. Rep. Brinks, a Democrat, is running for the seat currently occupied by Republican State Senator David Hildenbrand.

“I’m just really gratified by all of the support that I have gotten," Rep. Brinks said. There are a lot of great folks here today, and feel like we have got a great chance with these folks behind me.”

Michigan capitol building
Michigan Senate / www.senate.michigan.gov

Political candidates could solicit unlimited contributions for independent committees supporting them under Republican-sponsored bills advancing in Michigan's Legislature. Supporters of the legislation approved 23-12 Thursday by a divided Senate say it would codify into Michigan law unfettered political spending by independent committees that's legal under the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and other rulings. 

Michigan won’t limit how much money corporations and unions can spend to influence elections in the state – under legislation that’s cleared the state senate.

In 2010 the US Supreme Court said corporations and unions could spend as much money as they wanted on political campaigns. Seven years later, Michigan lawmakers are putting that standard into state law.

Arlan Meekhof is the Senate Majority Leader. He voted in favor of the bills, “Because everybody should have free speech and the Supreme Court has said that free speech equals money in what you give.”

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Lawmakers in Lansing are gearing up for a showdown over Michigan’s auto no-fault law. A group of Republicans and Democrats in the state House announced changes they plan to introduce.

They said their plan would make car insurance more affordable without limiting coverage.

The bipartisan group plans to introduce legislation that would, among other things, bar insurers from using factors like gender and zip code to set rates.

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