Who’s who (so far) in the 2018 gubernatorial election

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The race to be Michigan’s next governor is still nearly two years away, but already candidates are gearing up.

So far, the Secretary of State’s Office has received notification of campaign committee formation from 11 people who are getting an early start on running for governor in the 2018 election.

For Democrats, Gretchen Whitmer, a former lawmaker from East Lansing, has long been known to be eyeing the office. But several others say they will challenge her in the August 2018 primary: Abdul El-Sayed, Justin Giroux, Kentiel White and William Cobbs have all formed committees.

Republicans include Evan Space, Dr. Jim Hines and Mark McFarlin.

Still others seek to run for a third party or no party affiliation. Those include Dwain Reynolds, who is running for the Green party nomination. Anthony Wayne Nick and Todd Schleiger are running with no party affiliation.

The people listed above have filed campaign paperwork. That does not mean they have qualified to get their names on the ballot — that will require thousands of signatures and will come more than a year from now.

The list is preliminary and will likely change, with some probably dropping out of the race and others declaring their candidacy. There are several high-profile government officials who may throw their hat into the ring: Republicans Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and state Sen. Patrick Colbeck of Canton; and U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint — though none of those have made it official. Add to that any number of others who are not yet on the political radar.

Current Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, is being term-limited out.