The insiders considered him a shoe-in for the nomination and now he announces he will not run. He is not a very dynamic candidate so not a huge lose but the field is wide open on the Democratic side now.
Today I am announcing that the exploration of a gubernatorial candidacy is coming to an end, and I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2010.
A year ago, when this exploratory process began, I set several goals that I thought I needed to attain if a candidacy was to be successful. I believed that at least a thousand Michigan citizens needed to express their support for my candidacy. That number was exceeded significantly. I also believed that in 2009 I would have to obtain at least half of the petition signatures necessary to obtain a position on the ballot. We succeeded in reaching that number as well.
However, I also believed that I had to secure enough money to make my candidacy fully viable. I was not successful in that endeavor to the degree that was needed. With that in mind, I have come to the conclusion that to wage a successful campaign will be difficult at best.
Of course, I find this a disappointing circumstance for two reasons. First, a number of good friends stepped forward to offer their support, and they worked very hard to build a very impressive grassroots network. I hate to disappoint them with this news. Many of them also contributed hard earned money to help support our efforts. That does not, however, diminish the effort that they and the campaign team made to build a successful candidacy.
I am also disappointed because I truly believe that 2010 will be a critical year and election for Michigan. We stand before a simple choice between a race to the bottom or a vision of Michigan as we would like it to be. There are many who for political reasons choose to demean the notion of Michigan as a state that is investing and building for the future. They would rather have us blame our present economic circumstances on the victims of the global forces that disrupted the family and economic lives of thousands of Michigan citizens.
I had hoped that my campaign could argue for a Michigan that could put its great assets to work to create a new, vibrant 21st Century economy-- our great workforce and citizenry, internationally renowned institutions of higher education, and the 20 percent of the world's supply of fresh water that surrounds us. Those are strong building blocks for the future. The only thing that stands in the way of creating a strong future out of them is the negative political cult of personality that seeks political advantage at the expense of our civil endeavors.
I am disappointed that I will not be the candidate to carry that message.
Most importantly, though, I wish to thank my family-- my wife Pam, my children, my mother, and my brother and sisters for their help, support, and love. While ending the campaign is a disappointment for us, the effort brought us new friendships, introduced us to amazing people, and opened our eyes to a Michigan that is truly inspiring. For that we are extremely grateful.