LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The state Republican party is having trouble finding a first tier candidate to take on incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer. 

In 2006 when millionaire Dick DeVos announced he was running for governor, his money scared all the other candidates out of the race.

There is no rich big name out there this time to take on incumbent Gretchen Whitmer, which means: “They think why not me. I can’t be any worse than the rest,” said Bill Ballenger, former GOP state senator and state representative.

The state Republican party chair Ron Weiser is feverishly trying to find a top rate candidate to defeat Ms. Whitmer. 

In the meantime, former U.S. Senate candidate John James might run.

Other possibilities include former House Speaker Tom Leonard, former GOP Speaker Lee Chatfield, former Michigan State GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel (she has dropped her middle name Romney,) Rep. Julie Calley, and wife of former GOP LT. Governor Brian Calley.

Former GOP congressman and former defeated candidate for Governor Pete Hoesktra was asked if he was interested, he said he have to talk to his wife.

Current GOP congressman Fred Upton may not run again, and he’s flirted with running for governor numerous times.

“Oh yeah. He (Upton) definitely would be a top tier candidate,” said Ballenger.

The GOP chair has privately said next week he would have something to see on a top drawer candidate to take on Governor Whitmer.