Candice Miller, a former congresswoman and one of the most popular Republicans in Michigan, said Monday she won’t be running for governor in 2022.
Her announcement on Facebook comes less than a week after The Detroit News reported Miller, who is the Macomb County public works commissioner, was a favorite among Republicans to challenge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“There have been some recent media reports about me possibly being a candidate for governor in 2022. I will not be a candidate for governor in 2022,” Miller said on Facebook. “I appreciate the support of the people of Macomb County in my recent re-election and I am committed to fulfilling my duties here. Improving water quality in our magnificent Great Lakes, upgrading and maintaining our infrastructure and being a positive component of economic prosperity for Macomb County – these remain my focus.”
Miller, 66, served as Michigan Secretary of State from 1995 to 2003 and spent 14 years in the U.S. House, from 2013 to 2016. In 2016, Miller defeated six-term Democrat Anthony Marroco to become Macomb County public works commissioner. She was elected to a second four-year term in November.
Republicans are going to have a tough time finding a candidate capable of beating Whitmer, whose clear-eyed approach to combating COVID-19 has made her very popular.
A statewide poll published in early December found that most voters believed Whitmer was handling the pandemic better than state lawmakers. Of those surveyed, 63.3% said Whitmer is “aggressively working on getting the pandemic under control and protecting public health.” Only 29% of voters said the same about the Legislature.
In a Detroit News-WDIV TV poll released in late October, 54% of Michigan voters had a favorable view of Whitmer and 59% gave her positive job rating.
Potential GOP candidates for governor include former U.S. Senate candidate John James; former state House Speaker Lee Chatfield; U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, of Watersmeet; state Sen. Tom Barrett, of Charlotte; and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said last week that he does not plan to run for governor.
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