Libertarian candidate Bill Gelineau filed his campaign's petition signatures for Michigan's gubernatorial race on Thursday, becoming the first candidate to qualify for the first-ever Libertarian Party primary election to be held alongside the state's Democrat and Republican primaries on Tuesday, Aug. 7.
According to a press release, the Grand Rapids businessman delivered 21,187 signatures to the Bureau of Elections ahead of the April 24 deadline. Candidates need 15,000 signatures of registered voters to qualify.
It would be the first time a non-Democrat or Republican has qualified for a gubernatorial party primary in almost 50 years. Michigan gets a Libertarian primary this year due the party's strong polling numbers in the 2016 presidential election, where Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson earned 172,136 votes, or 3.6 percent, surpassing the 154,040-vote threshold necessary for his party to participate in the 2018 primary.
According to his campaign website, Gelineau supports dropping the state's spending limit by 10 percent and is against taxpayer subsidies for businesses. He also supports the legalization of marijuana ("Period.") and says it's time to "revisit" the rights for terminally ill patients to choose physician-assisted suicide, a notion popularized by Dr. Jack Kevorkian.
Announced Democratic candidates so far include Gretchen Whitmer, Abdul El-Sayed, Bill Cobbs, and Shri Thanedar. Republican candidates include Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lieutenant Gov. Brian Calley.
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