Tudor Dixon endorsed by Police Officers Association in primary race for governor

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Tudor Dixon, who's seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this fall, has gained the support of the Police Officers Association of Michigan, the latest in a string of endorsements for her campaign.

The association represents more than 12,000 law enforcement employees across the state.

"Our law enforcement officers work tirelessly to protect our communities and deserve to be supported. In a Tudor Dixon administration, they will," Dixon said in a statement.

Republican Tudor Dixon and James Tignanelli, president of the Police Officers Association of Michigan, stand with former President Donald Trump on April 2, 2022.

In recent weeks, Dixon, a conservative commentator and businesswoman from Norton Shores, has won endorsements from multiple key groups in GOP politics, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Right to Life of Michigan.

The Police Officers Association's endorsement in the primary is notable because of an ongoing discussion in Lansing over how to promote public safety and combat increases in crime. That debate unfolds as a Grand Rapids police officer faces a second-degree murder charge in the April 4 shooting death of Patrick Lyoya.

Dixon is one of five Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for governor in the Aug. 2 primary. 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, who was once viewed as the front runner in the Republican primary race, had made public safety one of his top issues. But Craig was one of five candidates knocked off the ballot because of a wave of fraudulent petition signatures.

Craig is now campaigning as a write-in candidate.

James Tignanelli, president of the Police Officers Association of Michigan, was Dixon's guest at a rally former President Donald Trump held in Macomb County on April 2.

In a statement about the association's endorsement, Dixon criticized Whitmer for saying in 2020 that she supported the “spirit” of efforts to defund the police. The conversation surrounding the “defund the police” movement was really about reprioritizing resources, the Democratic governor told The Root in June 2020.

“The spirit as you just articulated is really just about reprioritizing and rebuilding communities, not just policing,” Whitmer said. 

However, Whitmer has worked to provide police departments more funds to hire additional officers.

Dixon said "the days of lawlessness and disrespect for our law enforcement officers will be over" if she's elected.


Staff Writers Beth LeBlanc and George Hunter contributed.