Michigan Gubernatorial Voter Guide

Primary Election Guide

How do the gubernatorial candidates’ viewpoints align with SBAM’s priority policy issues? We asked them!

Below you’ll find details on each candidate’s response to the question ‘Why are you the best candidate for small businesses?’ along with links to their full questionnaire responses and percent SBAM policy alignment. Responses to all of SBAM’s policy-related questions are available in chart form for comparison.

The Small Business Association of Michigan has not endorsed a candidate for governor in the August 2nd primary election. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Tudor Dixon (R)

77.8% Small Business Policy Alignment

Campaign Website

Why are you the best candidate for small businesses?

“Tudor Dixon is a former small business owner — having signed the front of a paycheck — and a sales executive in her family steel plant. She understands the negative impact a hostile regulatory environment has on entrepreneurship and investment. As the Michigan Chamber-endorsed candidate, Tudor Dixon best understands the needs and concerns of small business.”

Candidate Questionnaire Responses

Ralph Rebandt (R)

100% Small Business Policy Alignment

Campaign Website

Why are you the best candidate for small businesses?

“I have owned small businesses, and employed people in small businesses. In my 35 years of experience, I have aided in the development of statements of purpose, vision statements, budgets and proposals for numerous organizations in Michigan, Indiana, and Canada.”

 

Candidate Questionnaire Responses

Kevin Rinke (R)

100% Small Business Policy Alignment

Campaign Website

Why are you the best candidate for small businesses?

“My business experience makes me the most qualified candidate to be the Chief Executive of the State of Michigan. After four failed years, we need a new kind of leadership. A governor who has decades of executive experience, who has signed the front and the back of a check, who listens to the people he leads, and empowers them to be part of the solution, rather than dictating the terms of their lives. We know business leaders solve problems differently than career politicians. Our next governor needs to be someone with proven leadership and proven results. Experience matters, details matter, scale of experience matters. As someone who has spent my career running businesses right here in Michigan, I know I can deliver for the small businesses that have suffered under the current administration.”

Candidate Questionnaire Responses

Garrett Soldano (R)

100% Small Business Policy Alignment

Campaign Website

Why are you the best candidate for small businesses?

“We need a small business revolution. Our government should put Michigan first – helping our neighbors recover and rebuild while setting a level playing field for small businesses and entrepreneurs to compete. Even before her lockdowns, Governor Whitmer’s policies were crushing our economy. Her agenda of higher taxes – on businesses, on gasoline (her 45-cent tax would be the highest in the nation), of red tape and regulations, is the opposite of what Michiganders want and need. As Governor, our administration would support We the People’s economy – getting our citizens back to work and putting Michigan First. As governor, my administration would enact the following policies:

  1. Enact a 12-month small business tax holiday on small businesses with fewer than 10 employees and $500,000 in gross receipts.
  2. Commit to eliminating 25 percent of regulations not required by state or federal law within two years of taking office.
  3. Reduce occupational license requirements and fees.”
Candidate Questionnaire Responses

Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D)

55.5% Small Business Policy Alignment

Campaign Website

Why are you the best candidate for small businesses?

“I am focused on boosting our economy and helping ensure that our small businesses can thrive. I understand how vital small businesses are to creating new jobs and opportunities and spurring economic growth. Responsible and accountable government is necessary for economic growth. My administration launched 23 different support programs providing over $400 million in relief to more than 25,000 businesses, helping to retain over 200,000 jobs. I signed two bipartisan tax cuts for small businesses providing $275 million in tax relief. Small businesses in Michigan had the fastest growth in over 20 years with 150,000 new business applications and more than 170,000 jobs added in 2021 and our state was ranked as a top state for small business revenue growth.”

Candidate Questionnaire Responses
SBAM asked 9 questions regarding small business issues that are highly likely to be in front of the next governor. The questions were asked in a way that “yes” was the preferred pro-small business answer. Questionnaires were sent to all Republican and Democrat candidates who will appear on the ballot. Those returned to SBAM by our deadline appear below. Candidates’ explanations for their answers are linked for reference.
SBAM Policy Positions SBAM Policy Related Questions  Dixon Rebandt Rinke Soldano Whitmer
There should be no new associated costs or rate increases for small businesses related  to unemployment insurance changes or usage due to mandated government closures.    Do you support the state fully replacing the funds depleted from the unemployment  insurance trust fund due to actions taken or required by state government during the pandemic,  without assessing any new costs to employers? Yes Yes Yes Yes Did Not Answer Yes or No
The government should not set or limit prices businesses can charge.    Will you oppose rules or laws that set or limit the prices that a business could charge for its goods or  services? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
The government should not set or control the benefits and wages agreed to between  businesses and their employees.  Will you oppose rules or laws that set or control the wages or benefits between employers and their  employees? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Michigan should strive to be ranked a top 10 state when compared to other states  (according to the Tax Foundation Rankings) so that small businesses can compete effectively in the  national and global marketplaces.  Would you favor establishing a goal and benchmark to get and keep Michigan in the top 10? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Continue to support the Pure Michigan tourism and business development campaign Would you commit to funding the Pure Michigan tourism and business development campaign at least  at current levels? Did Not Answer Yes or No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Our education system must prepare students for the workplace, focusing on skills  needed to compete in today’s economy while also providing quality, well-rounded education.     Would you support an accountability structure for our K-12 system that is transparent and is coupled  with adequate funding for economic disadvantaged, special needs, and CTE students? Yes Yes Yes Yes Did Not Answer Yes or No
Support a last-dollar in tuition-free community college program that is not tied to tax  increases.  Do you support making at least a 2 year associates degree or skilled trades certificate universally  available to Michigan students? Did Not Answer Yes or No Yes Yes Yes Yes
SBAM supports the 2018 tunnel agreement as the best solution to ensure  uninterrupted and affordable energy supply under the Straits of Mackinac; we also oppose undoing  properly enacted legislation through the use of legal technicalities by the executive and judicial  branches. Will you oppose any and all actions that delay or undermine the completion of a tunnel to place Line 5  into, and further, take direct action to aid in the completion of the project without any delay and without any interruption in service to the current Line 5? Yes Yes Yes Yes Did Not Answer Yes or No
SBAM supports adequate infrastructure funding to maintain safe and efficient  transportation infrastructure because it is necessary to maximize economic growth. The road funding  plan should be sufficient to rebuild roads that are beyond repair and adhere to a maintenance  schedule that maximizes the useful life of our infrastructure investments. Road funding should be paid  for from user fees and/or reprioritization within the state budget, and not by taking on debt.    Do you support and will you commit to adequately funding infrastructure in a way that replaces and  maintains roads without taking on more debt? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes