Schuette to announce lieutenant governor pick

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bill Schuette, currently the Michigan attorney general, speaks at a campaign event on the Weir farm in Southern Michigan near Hanover.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette will announce his running mate for lieutenant governor Wednesday morning at the Kent County GOP headquarters in Grand Rapids, according to his campaign.

While Schuette has indicated his running mate will be a woman, the speculation about who she might be remains unanswered.

Among the potential candidates are Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons; Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller; state Rep. Laura Cox; state Sen. Margaret O'Brien and former state Rep. Andrea LaFontaine. 

Posthumus Lyons is also a former state representative. Her father, Dick Posthumus, was the 2002 Republican nominee for governor and was lieutenant governor from 1999 to 2003 under former Gov. John Engler. He is Gov. Rick Snyder's current chief of staff. She couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

Posthumus Lyons stood out during her time in the Legislature, and the Posthumus name is popular in west Michigan, said Bill Ballenger, a former GOP state legislator who runs The Ballenger Report.

Dick Posthumus' connection Snyder, who has yet to endorse Schuette, could prove valuable, Ballenger said. 

"She would be a good choice," he said. 

Miller, a former congresswoman and Michigan Secretary of State, declined comment Tuesday.

When contacted by The Detroit News on Tuesday, Cox said she was focused on running for state Senate and would not confirm whether she’d been approached for the lieutenant governor role. The Livonia Republican and House Appropriations chairwoman is a former Wayne County commissioner and is married to former state Attorney General Mike Cox.

A source close to Laura Cox said she wouldn't be in Grand Rapids Wednesday.

O'Brien, a Portage Republican, is running for a second term in the state Senate and was one of the lead lawmakers involved with a series of bills that sought to address the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal at Michigan State University. 

LaFontaine, a former Republican legislator from Columbus Township, did not return a call for comment. LaFontaine currently works for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Schuette will face off against former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, who will be part of a Democratic ticket dominated by women, including U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who is up for re-election; presumptive attorney general nominee Dana Nessel; and presumptive secretary of state nominee Jocelyn Benson.

Schuette, who is Michigan's attorney general, won the Republican primary Aug. 7 with nearly 51 percent of the Republican vote, beating out Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Saginaw obstetrician Jim Hines and state Sen. Patrick Colbeck.

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