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The Republican Governors Association launched its first TV ad Tuesday in the Michigan governor’s race, comparing Democratic nominee Gretchen Whitmer to former Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

The ad tries to link Whitmer to the "failed policies" of Granholm, claiming that Whitmer helped pass Granholm’s tax increases and now wants to "raise taxes even more."

"Gretchen Whitmer is just like Jennifer Granholm. And Michigan can’t afford to lose another decade," the narrator says. 

The ad is running in the Detroit and Grand Rapids markets, RGA spokesman Jon Thompson said. 

It appears to use stock footage of a man walking near an abandoned industrial site, shot around 2013, which was during Gov. Rick Snyder's first term.

Whitmer's campaign said Schuette and the RGA are attacking her to distract from Schuette's own "failures," such as signing off "on the Flint water plan that let lead in the water, and as governor, he says he will roll back Michigan’s Medicaid expansion." 

"The truth is, Gretchen took on Governor Granholm repeatedly in Lansing. She stood up against cuts to schools, retirement, and health care, and voted against Granholm’s tax hikes," Whitmer spokeswoman Nicole Simmons said. 

"As governor, Gretchen will stay focused on the things that will actually make a difference in people’s lives right now, like fixing the damn roads and repealing the retirement tax."

Schuette spokesman John Sellek said Granholm voted for higher fees "on everything from birth to death and the health care in between, making it harder to afford care and shrinking family paychecks." 

"Families simply cannot afford a return to the Whitmer-Granholm Lost Decade," Sellek said. 

The Michigan Democratic Party last week held events around the state slamming Schuette for what they call his "Unhealthy Michigan Plan" to repeal Medicaid expansion and undermine protections for those with preexisting conditions. 

The Dems also released an ad last week that tries to tie Schuette to President Donald Trump's "disastrous" health care agenda, claiming it would lead to increased costs for working families and take healthcare away from 600,000 Michigan families. 

Another ad highlights Schuette's "Summer of Scandals," including a county prosecutor's referring to the FBI a request for an investigation into whether Schuette broke any laws when he used state employees to witness multimillion-dollar sales of inherited Virgin Islands property.

A Schuette spokeswoman had called the initial request a “baseless attack on an attorney general with a strong ethical record.” 

mburke@detroitnews.com 

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