An allied group of the Democratic Governors Association is spending at least $2 million in the final week before Michigan's gubernatorial primary, with its first salvo an attack on the race's frontrunner, Republican Tudor Dixon.
The group, called Put Michigan First, is backed by the DGA, which put out a press release Wednesday morning touting the ad. The new spot alleges Dixon's budget proposals would defund state police.
“Tudor Dixon’s dangerous budget plan could slash up to 500 million from state police across Michigan, threatening funding for thousands of law enforcement jobs," the ad's narrator says.
“Tudor Dixon’s devastating plan would mean less cops on the street, making Michigan less safe."
Sam Newton, a spokesman for both Put Michigan First and the DGA, said in a statement that the ad is part of an attempt to hold "Michigan Republicans accountable for their harmful policies that would make life worse for families in Michigan” and that "it's critical that Michigan families know how Dixon’s agenda would make Michigan more dangerous.”
Dixon's campaign responded to the ad in a statement to The Detroit News, touting her endorsement from the Police Officers Association of Michigan and calling her the "law and order candidate."
The timing of the ad buy (pegged at $2 million by ad-tracking firm AdImpact) is notable. Dixon has posted a narrow lead in recent polls (although many Republicans remain undecided) ahead of this Tuesday's primary race. So the ad could either harm Dixon if she makes it through the primary, or possibly contribute to some last-minute tightening in the race's final days.
But the ad's content is more straightforward — aimed at attacking Dixon on a core Republican issue in the days leading up to her primary — than some of the DGA's other, more complicated strategies in other races, where they ultimately tried to boost more far-right candidates by playing up their conservative credentials.
Dixon is a conservative commentator backed by the powerful DeVos family; Rinke is a businessman (who has denied allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment) who has loaned his campaign at least $10 million; Soldano is a small business owner who gained political traction by protesting the governor’s Covid policies; and Ryan Kelley, a real estate broker arrested on misdemeanor charges for his conduct at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.