Tudor Dixon gets Michigan Chamber of Commerce's endorsement in GOP primary

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — The Michigan Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday it's endorsing conservative commentator and businesswoman Tudor Dixon in the Republican primary race for governor.

The chamber's decision provided another prominent backer for Dixon, a first-time candidate from Norton Shores, who's also supported by west Michigan's DeVos family and Right to Life of Michigan.

"Tudor understands the many critical roles Michigan job providers play — from advancing a resilient, growing economy to being innovators and supporters of our families and communities," said Wendy Block, vice president of business advocacy and member engagement for the Michigan Chamber. "We believe she’s the best choice for Republican voters in August."

Tudor Dixon participates in the Michigan Republican Gubernatorial debate at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

The chamber advocates for policy changes on behalf of businesses and has about 5,000 members, according to its website.

The organization's political action committee board makes its endorsement selections, according to a press release.

The Dixon decision came after "a detailed evaluation of the candidates running in the primary, their backgrounds, ability and approach to governing, stances on key issues impacting Michigan Chamber members and the state’s business community and motivation to run for office," the release added.

As the Michigan Republican Party has faced internal turmoil this year in the wake of former President Donald Trump's loss in 2020, it's unclear how much influence institutional powers, like the chamber, still hold.

Dixon is one of five Republican candidates who will be on the Aug. 2 primary ballot. The others are real estate broker Ryan Kelley of Allendale, chiropractor Garrett Soldano of Mattawan, pastor Ralph Rebandt of Farmington Hills and businessman Kevin Rinke of Bloomfield Township.

Former Detroit police Chief James Craig was knocked off the ballot because of a wave of fraudulent petition signatures but plans to seek the Republican nomination as a write-in candidate.

The winner of the Republican primary will challenge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November.

The Michigan Chamber will wait until after primary to make "any endorsement determination for the November general election," the organization said Thursday.

Dixon described her campaign as achieving a "growing coalition" in a statement.

"I am running for governor to improve education for our children, improve our workforce and create a more business-friendly climate in our state," Dixon said. "I am glad members of the chamber are supporting my vision and plans to forge a family-friendly future for Michigan."