Tudor Dixon endorsed by Police Officers Association in primary gubernatorial race

Lansing –Tudor Dixon, who is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this fall, has won the endorsement of the Police Officers Association of Michigan, the latest in a string of endorsements for his 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.

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

The endorsement of the Association of Police Officers in the primary is notable due to an ongoing discussion in Lansing about how to promote public safety and combat rising crime. This 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 gubernatorial nomination in the Aug. 2 primary. The others are realtor 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 considered the frontrunner in the Republican primary race, had made public safety one of his top issues. But Craig was one of five candidates eliminated from the ballot due to a wave of fraudulent petition signings.

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 for former President Donald Trump held in Macomb County on April 2.

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

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

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

Dixon said “the days of lawlessness and disrespect for our law enforcement will be over” if elected.

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Staff writers Beth LeBlanc and George Hunter contributed.

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