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Michigan gubernatorial election, 2002

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michigan gubernatorial election, 2002

← 1998 November 5, 2002 2006 →
Turnout 3,177,565

Jennifer Granholm 5.jpg
Dick Posthumus (cropped).jpeg
Nominee Jennifer Granholm Dick Posthumus
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate John Cherry Loren Bennett
Popular vote 1,631,276 1,504,755
Percentage 51.4% 47.4%

Michigan gubernatorial election 2002.svg
County results

Governor before election

John Engler

Elected Governor

Jennifer Granholm

The Michigan gubernatorial election of 2002 was one of the 36 United States gubernatorial elections held on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Republican Governor John Engler, after serving three terms, had stepped down and was not running for a fourth term; his lieutenant governor Dick Posthumus, also a Republican, ran in his place. Jennifer Granholm, then Attorney General of Michigan, ran on the Democratic Party ticket. Douglas Campbell ran on the Green Party ticket, and Joseph M. Pilchak[1] ran on the Constitution Party[2] ticket.

Granholm won with 51% of the vote, followed by Posthumus' 48%, Campbell with 1%, and Pilchak with less than 1%.[3][4] This made Granholm the first female Michigan governor and the first Democratic governor of Michigan in 12 years.[5]

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/1
    29 138
  • Worst 10 American Governors


I’m Mr. Beat, and I’m running for governor of Kansas in 2018. Here’s Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey. At one time, he was one of the most popular governors in the United States. However, by the time he left office, his approval rating had dropped all the way down to 14%. (Chris Christie clip) Many in New Jersey say he is the worst governor in their state’s history. But what about the worst governors in other states? Based on my research, here are the 10 worst governors in American history that I could find. Oh, and before we get into this list, I didn’t include the governors who are currently in office or recently got out of office. What can I say? We are always biased to have hatred to more recent politicians. #10 Edwin Edwards Governor of Louisiana from 1972 to 1980, 1984 to 1988, and 1992 to 1996, serving 16 years total in office, or 5,784 days, the sixth-longest amount of time in office for any governor since the Constitution. Widely considered one of the most corrupt governors in American history, he actually got caught for racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. He went to federal prison for eight years. He was unapologetic about receiving illegal campaign donations. He was accused of obstruction of justice and bribery. The only reason why Edwards is not higher up on my list is because is dedication to civil rights and protecting minorities and the poor. #9 Joel Aldrich Matteson Or MATTson. Both pronunciations are correct. I'll call him Mattyson because that's more fun. Oh Louisiana and Illinois. You both have a long history of electing corrupt and just, plain horrible governors. And Matteson is one of them. Governor of Illinois from 1853 to 1857, he actually had a few accomplishments during his tenure. This was when Illinois began public education, and Matteson oversaw a strong economy and the reduction of the state’s debt. However, after he got out of office people started to find out about his shadiness. You see, while in office, Matteson had found essentially IOU money in the form of scrips to pay for the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Even though scrips had already been cashed in, Matteson found out they could be used again due to poor record keeping. So he took a bunch of them for himself and cashed them in later on. They were like blank checks from the state. It was later estimated, that Matteson stole at least $5 million this way, adjusted for inflation. He would have probably stolen more if it weren’t for getting caught. So Matteson stole a bunch of taxpayer money. Oh yeah, and Abraham Lincoln hated him, too, so there’s that. #8 Peter Hardeman Burnett California’s first governor, and probably its worst. He was also the first California governor to resign, in office for just 14 months, from late 1849 to early 1851. He wanted the American West for whites only, supporting laws that banned blacks from living in Oregon when he lived up there and trying to get laws passed in California to ban blacks from living there after it became a state under his watch. He was also outspokenly racist toward Native Americans and Chinese immigrants. He pushed for heavy taxes on immigrants and for Indian removal. Oh, and he wanted the death penalty for theft. Peter, you were not a good start for California. #7 George Wallace Yeah, you’ve probably heard of George Wallace, he’s one of the most infamous in American history and ran for President several times. He was even in Forrest Gump. But if you want a great bio about him, I recommend this video by Connor Higgins. He’s most infamously known for the “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever” and racist stuff of his tenure, in which he embraced the KKK and basically argued that blacks and whites being in the same room was one of the worst things ever. He even freaking stood in front of a door to prevent black students from attending classes at the University of Alabama. But here’s the thing...he lost his first race for governor because he criticized the KKK and spoke out for African Americans. Later in life, after being paralyzed in an assassination attempt, he reversed his ways also by condemning his past racism. This just makes me assume he said whatever the majority of people wanted to hear in his state to get elected. George Wallace, were you racist or were you not? Ok yeah I think he truly was, though. He was so power hungry he got his wife elected after he couldn’t run for re-election due to term limit laws, and to do so, he hid her cancer diagnosis from her. She ended up dying less than 200 days after she took office. The bottom line is, George Wallace was as us vs. them as one could get. He knew how to divide Americans not only in Alabama, but across the country. Wallace would be higher up on this list if not for changing later in life, asking forgiveness from African Americans. "I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over." #6 Orval Faubus From one Southern racist governor to another, but at least this one has a cool name. Faubus was governor or Arkansas from 1955 to 1967. Now Faubus really just had one major decision that tainted his legacy Similar to Wallace, he was more about his political power, starting out more moderate when it came to civil rights issues, then all of sudden taking a firm pro-segregation stance after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. In 1957, he became internationally infamous in what is known as the Little Rock Crisis. After the federal government ordered racial desegregation, he was like, “nope,” sending the Arkansas National Guard to stop African Americans from attending Little Rock Central High School. President Eisenhower had to send in federal troops to escort them in. And then at the end of the year, the school shut down. What’s frustrating about Faubus is that he really didn’t seem that racist. He just stubbornly did the wrong thing fueled the hatred of blacks in the South. And he never apologized for it, like Wallace did. #5 Lilburn Boggs Governor of Missouri from 1836 to 1840 Boggs is best known for Missouri Executive Order 44, or as many Mormons call it, the “Extermination Order.” It was a response to the growing violence during what became known as the 1838 Mormon War, a series of clashes between Mormons and those they threatened in northeast Missouri. Governor Boggs issued the order to drive Mormons out of the state because of their “open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this State.” He also added, “The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace.” Geez, dude. And yep, it worked. The Mormons fled to the town of Nauvoo, Illinois. Other great stuff about Boggs. He wasted a bunch of taxpayer money building a new capitol. Oh, and he almost caused a war with Iowa Territory due to a border dispute. Actually, it was known as a war. The Honey War. Awwww, what a sweet name for a war. #4 Len Small Well, here we go. Another Illinois governor. In office during the Roaring Twenties, from 1921 to 1929. His corruption started long before he was governor, back when he was the Illinois Treasurer. He was charged with embezzling over a million dollars through money laundering, by “misplacing” state funds into a fake bank. He went to trial for it while he was governor, and despite there being pretty good evidence that he was guilty, got off scot-free. Coincidentally, eight of the jurors who said he was not guilty in his trial later got cushy state jobs, and so did the brothers of the judge in that case. Coincidence? In 1925, when the Illinois Supreme Court said that yep, Small was guilty and he had to pay back that $1 million after all, Small fought back with a legal team and forced his own state employees to help pay for his defense. Small pardoned or released more than 1000 convicted felons, including a dude who was convicted of kidnapping young girls and making them slaves in which they were forced to be prostitutes. Also, Small released a bootlegger who later became the leader of one of the most powerful bootlegging gangs in Chicago. Oh Lenny. I can’t make this stuff up, can I? #3 Wilson Lumpkin Another great name, another bad governor. He was in office for the lovely state of Georgia from 1831 to 1835. He thought his biggest accomplishment, you know, something he was most proud of, was the removal of the peaceful Cherokee Indians from north Georgia. Yep, he was proud of kicking the Cherokee off their land, which led to the Trail of Tears and eventual death of 4,000 people. Wow, Wilson. Just wow. Did I mention he went against the Supreme Court by kicking them out? Check out that decision, by the way, I have a video about that called Worcester v. Georgia. He encouraged white settlers to take their land while they were still there. And did I mention he was a big supporter of slavery? Of course he was. And speaking of slavery... For #2, it’s a tie. In fact, 28 governors all tie for #2 on this list. They are the 28 Southern governors who all agreed to secede from the Union and become leaders in the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Here are their names. I’m not going to read them off for you, but all of them declared allegiance to the Confederacy in the name of preserving the institution of slavery. I’m not going to call them traitors, because they didn’t think they were traitors. But they were wrong, and in my opinion, they do not deserve to be honored. And this last one will likely surprise you… #1 Brigham Young If you’re one of his 1,000 direct descendants, I’m pretty sure you are going to be offended by what I’m about to say. And if you’re Mormon, well I talked trash about Boggs earlier so hopefully this evens out. In case you didn’t know, Brigham Young was governor of the Territory of Utah from 1851 to 1858. Governor? Dictator might be a better word. I mean, he had absolute power. And there was no separation of church and state, it was a theocracy. After he led his Mormon followers into what is now known as Utah, and before the Feds go involved, whatever he said went. He argued slavery was a “divine institution.” Yep, people forget Utah used to allow slavery. Ok, and obviously the polygamy thing. He had 55 wives, for crying out loud. After he couldn’t convert the local Native American population to the Church of Latter Day Saints, he basically ordered to kill them. Yep. Genocide. Ethnic cleansing. And under his watch, the Mountain Meadows Massacre happened. Just Google it. It’s horrific, and it caused him to step down as governor. When the federal government came to challenge him during the Utah War, Young declared marital law and told his followers they may have to burn down their homes, hide in the woods, and conduct guerilla warfare to defend their way of life. He maybe started out as a nice guy, but in the end I think the power corrupted him, as power tends to do. So that’s it. I’m sure that last one surprised you, probably because you didn’t realize how horrible Brigham Young was or maybe you didn't realize he was a governor for a short while. He does have tons of monuments out there celebrating him and even a university named after him that’s one of the biggest universities in the country. Before I go, I want to point out that I was fairly out of my comfort zone when researching for this video There are so many governors in American history. that it's really hard to keep track of them. Plus, there's a lot of really bad ones and a lot of governors that we don't know much about in the early years. So if there are any governors that I did not include, that I totally missed please let me know in the comments. I will not be offended. Just let it all out. I do have a list of honorable mentions. Or should I say "DIShonorable mentions." That I included in the description of this video. They didn't quite make the cut. But as far as I know, this is the only video out there about the worst governors in American history. And thank you to Ian for giving me the idea. This video is dedicated to him. And to his mom. Thank you to you both for your support on Patreon. It means so much. I'll be back with a new episode of Supreme Court Briefs next week. Thank you for watching. And there's just one more thing. I'm really not running for Kansas governor in 2018. I just made that up.


Republican Primary

With incumbent Governor John Engler ineligible to seek re-election for a third term due to term-limits,[6] Posthumus, Michigan's lieutenant governor, was considered the overwhelming favorite for the Republican nomination. Following his primary win, Posthumus selected state Sen. Loren Bennett as his running mate.[7]

Republican primary results[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dick Posthumus 474,804 81.39
Republican Joe Schwarz 108,581 18.61
Total votes 583,385 100.00

Jim Moody created a candidate committee and filed a Statement of Organization, but did not submit sufficient ballot-access petition signatures to be included on the 2002 primary ballot.[9]

Democratic Primary

The Democratic Party was a competitive, three-way race with between state Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, former Gov. Jim Blanchard (who was upset by Engler in 1990) and former House Minority Whip David Bonior.

Granholm was accused in the 2002 Democratic primary of several allegations of cronyism while working as Wayne County Corporation Counsel. Her husband, Daniel Mulhern, had received several contracts for his leadership training company shortly after Granholm left her position as a Wayne County Corporation Counsel in 1998. He received nearly $300,000 worth of contracts, despite being the highest bidder for one of those contracts. Opponents criticized Granholm supporters for engaging in cronyism and giving contracts to her husband immediately after leaving county employment. Granholm and her supporters responded that no ethical violations occurred and that Mulhern had earned the contracts on his own merits.[10]

Granholm was the first woman ever nominated by a major party to be Michigan governor.[11] Following her primary victory, Granholm chose state Sen. John Cherry as her running mate.[7]

Democratic primary results[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jennifer Graholm 499,129 47.69
Democratic David Bonior 292,958 27.99
Democratic James Blanchard 254,586 24.32
Total votes 1,046,673 100.00

Minor Parties

Third-party candidates for governor in 2002. Green Party candidate Douglas Campbell, and no image is available of Joseph Pilchak.


Green Party

The Green Party of Michigan nominated Douglas Campbell. Campbell, a registered professional engineer and published Atheist from Ferndale, joined the Green party upon learning of its existence in 2000,[12] and was the Wayne-Oakland-Macomb county campaign coordinator for Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, 2000.[13] During the 2002 campaign he claimed he was beaten, arrested and jailed (in Brighton, Michigan) for attempting to participate in a gubernatorial debate from which he was excluded, at the time being the only candidate who was not either a Republican or Democrat.[14]

United States Taxpayers Party (Constitution Party)

Capac resident Joseph Pilchak was nominated by convention to be the U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate for Governor of Michigan. He was the U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan 10th District in 2000.[1] The Michigan US Taxpayers' Party is affiliated with the United States Constitution Party,[15] but Michigan election law does not provide a mechanism for changing the name of a political party.[16]

General Election campaign

Posthumus, who had been previous Governor Engler's Lieutenant Governor, ran his general election campaign promising to maintain the Engler legacy.[17]

Granholm promised change, running as a tough crime-fighter and consumer advocate. Granholm criticized the Engler administration for coming into office with a budget surplus and leaving with a deficit.[17]

Kilpatrick memo controversy

In the biggest event of the election, Posthumus released a memo from Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick asking for more appointments for blacks and jobs for Detroit contractors in a Granholm administration. Posthumus pointed to the memo as an example of Democratic Party corruption. Granholm, however, denied ever receiving the memo and said she wouldn't have agreed to it anyway. She said Posthumus was trying to be racially divisive.[17]

Election results

Michigan gubernatorial election, 2002[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Jennifer Granholm 1,633,796 51.42% +13.64%
Republican Dick Posthumus 1,506,104 47.40% -14.81%
Green Douglas Campbell 25,236 0.79%
Constitution Joseph Pilchak 12,411 0.39%
Write-ins 18 0.00%
Majority 127,692 4.02% -20.41%
Turnout 3,177,565

Results by County

County Granholm Votes Posthumus Votes Others Votes
Alcona 47.20% 2,165 52.04% 2,387 0.76% 35
Alger 52.59% 1,855 46.02% 1,623 1.36% 49
Allegan 36.66% 12,772 62.28% 21,695 0.11% 369
Alpena 56.95% 6,391 42.52% 4,722 0.98% 110
Antrim 39.67% 3,752 58.96% 5,576 1.36% 129
Arenac 51.14% 2,821 47.34% 2,611 1.52% 84
Baraga 50.93% 1,263 47.18% 1,170 1.90% 47
Barry 40.15% 8,136 58.93% 11,983 0.92% 187
Bay 53.29% 21,190 45.27% 18,001 1.43% 568
Benzie 45.83 3,036 52.53% 3,480 1.65% 109
Berrien 41.85% 17,094 57.24% 23,278 0.91% 373
Branch 45.04% 5,001 54.14% 6,012 0.82% 9
Calhoun 52.59% 21,298 46.40% 18,789 1.01% 409
Cass 45.10% 5,741 53.77% 6,845 1.12% 143
Charlevoix 39.89% 3,836 58.31% 5,608 1.80% 173
Cheboygan 43.29% 4,107 55.53% 5,268 1.18% 112
Chippewa 49.81% 5,428 49.16% 5,357 1.04% 113
Clare 50.05% 4,719 48.56% 4,578 1.39% 131
Clinton 46.39% 12,070 52.61% 13,711 1.07% 279
Crawford 45.65% 2,233 52.45% 2,566 1.90% 93
Delta 50.37% 6,862 48.37% 6,590 1.26% 172
Dickinson 46.47% 3,882 52.17% 4,358 1.35% 113
Eaton .% .% .%
Emmet .% .% .%
Genesee .% .% .%
Gladwin .% .% .%
Gogebic .% .% .%
Grand Traverse .% .% .%
Gratiot .% .% .%
Hillsdale .% .% .%
Houghton .% .% .%
Huron .% .% .%
Ingham .% .% .%
Ionia .% .% .%
Iosco .% .% .%
Iron .% .% .%
Isabella .% .% .%
Jackson .% .% .%
Kalamazoo .% .% .%
Kalkaska .% .% .%
Kent .% .% .%
Keweenaw .% .% .%
Lake .% .% .%
Lapeer .% .% .%
Leelanau .% .% .%
Lenawee .% .% .%
Livingston .% .% .%
Luce .% .% .%
Mackinac .% .% .%
Macomb .% .% .%
Manistee .% .% .%
Marquette .% .% .%
Mason .% .% .%
Mecosta .% .% .%
Menominee .% .% .%
Midland .% .% .%
Missaukee .% .% .%
Monroe .% .% .%
Montcalm .% .% .%
Montmorency .% .% .%
Muskegon .% .% .%
Newaygo .% .% .%
Oakland .% .% .%
Oceana .% .% .%
Ogemaw .% .% .%
Ontonagon .% .% .%
Osceola .% .% .%
Oscoda .% .% .%
Otsego .% .% .%
Ottawa .% .% .%
Presque Isle .% .% .%
Roscommon .% .% .%
Saginaw .% .% .%
St. Clair .% .% .%
St. Joseph .% .% .%
Sanilac .% .% .%
Schoolcraft .% .% .%
Shiawassee .% .% .%
Tuscola .% .% .%
Van Buren .% .% .%
Washtenaw .% .% .%
Wayne .% .% .%
Wexford .% .% .%


  1. ^ a b The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians
  2. ^ The Constitution Party is still on the Michigan ballot as the United States Taxpayers' Party in Michigan. Although the party changed its name in 1999, the Michigan Bureau of Elections does not provide any mechanism for a political party changing its name.
  3. ^ Election 2002 – Governor. CNN.
  4. ^ 2002 Official Michigan General Election Results – Governor 4 Year Term (1) Position Archived 2014-01-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Christian, Nichole M.; Cushman Jr, John H.; Day, Sherri; Dillon, Sam; Lewis, Neil A.; Pear, Robert; Pristin, Terry; Shenon, Philip; Steinberg, Jacques; Wayne, Leslie (7 November 2002). "THE 2002 ELECTIONS: MIDWEST; MICHIGAN". NYT. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
  6. ^ Associated Press (September 5, 2001). "Its (finally) official: Posthumus enters race for governor". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Associated Press (August 23, 2002). "Mich. Candidate Chooses Running Mate". The Edwardsville Intelligencer. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ [1], Michigan Bureau of Elections, Committee Statement of Organization #510903
  10. ^ Selweski, Chad (January 13, 2002). "Granholm supporters helped her husband secure Wayne County contracts". Macomb Daily. Archived from the original on June 29, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-13.
  11. ^ Longest-serving member of House wins fight of career. USA Today. Accessed 15 February 2009.
  12. ^ Greens, US. "Green Party Speakers Bureau". (website).
  13. ^ "Bio: Douglas Campbell". 2006-10-09. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-11-25.
  14. ^ Campbell, Douglas (2002-05-21). "Thinking Politically (Letter from the Brighton Jail)". Synthesis/Regeneration 29 (Fall 2002).
  15. ^ The Constitution Party was founded as the U.S. Taxpayers' Party in 1992. The national party's name was changed to the Constitution Party in 1999.
  16. ^ U.S. Taxpayers and Constitution Party of Michigan. "Gubernatorial Debate – Part II Bhagwan (Bob) Dashairya Enters Michigan Governor's Race " Archived 2007-02-17 at the Wayback Machine.. (website).
  17. ^ a b c Granholm becomes Michigan's first female governor. USA Today. (Associated Press). Accessed 15 February 2009.
  18. ^

External links

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