SORRY, CHARLIE

Republican gubernatorial challenger Austin Chenge, who immigrated to the U.S. in 2008 from Nigeria, has lived in Grand Rapids since. A product and software design entrepreneur, he has never held public office, and told Michigan Public Radio he wants to “be a breath of fresh air” for Michigan, is learning a hard lesson about politics. While he really, really, really wants to take on Whitmer, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see him on the 2022 GOP primary ballot because it doesn’t look like  he qualifies to run. See, there’s these things called the Michigan Constitution and election laws – and they’re the real deal. The Michigan Constitution requires gubernatorial candidates to be a “registered elector” for at least the four years prior to taking office. While Chenge has been a Michigan resident since 2010, he was a college student living in England and then working in California until 2014, when he said he didn’t register to vote because “his business was expanding.” While he says he “adamantly” supports former President Trump, he did not vote for him, or for anyone – in 2016. Chenge is said to be challenging the election eligibility requirement, which will necessitate him collecting 15,000 valid voter signatures, at least 100 from half of the state’s congressional districts, to qualify for the primary ballot – a tall order, especially from a political unknown. That hasn’t stopped him from trying to grab headlines. On June 13, he announced that he bought Whitmer a one-way ticket to Miami, posting, “On behalf of Michigan citizens, I urge the Governor to resign and not to miss her flight.” Whitmer’s spokesperson said, “This is so delightfully unhinged.”

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