Skubick: Major party candidates for governor sound call for unity

Michigan

The two major party candidates for governor are facing a stark reality.

Almost half of the voters yesterday voted for somebody other than the winners Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer.

Which means mending fences is job one right now.

The sweet smell of success.

The Democratic candidate for governor Gretchen Whitmer shares that smell with her Republican  opponent Bill Schuette, who nailed down the governor’s nomination Tuesday.  

But there is this harsh reality: 48 percent of those who voted in the Democrat primary did not vote for Whitmer and 49 percent in the Republican primary did not vote for Schuette. Job one is to get all those voters back in the fold.

Abdul  El Sayed hoped to ride a Bernie Sanders progressive wave into the Democratic nomination but fell short with 31 percent of the vote.

Despite shelling out almost $11 million of his own money, Shri Thanedar finished third with 18 percent of the vote.

Ms. Whitmer wasted little time reaching out to her opponents.

“There is a place for you as we move forward. I appreciate your energy and ideas and what you have meant to this party. Let’s work together to get this done.”

Ms. Whitmer faces the same task that former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton confronted; converting Bernie Sanders voters to her side.

“To the thousands of people who were their supporters, this is a big tent,” said the candidate. “Join us, come on inside.”

Over 100 miles away in Midland, Bill Schuette was singing the exact same unity tune.

“And to those who supported other fine candidates, I hope to earn your support as we move forward. Whatever differences we had, it is my hope starting tonight we can unite in our common goal.”

In a message to Schuette, Lt. Governor Brian Calley says he’s game.

“I’ll look forward to talking to you real soon about how to unite the party.”

There was no such statement from the sitting governor as everyone waits to see if he becomes part of the Schuette unity movement.  

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