HELP WANTED: Chief executive, must be miracle worker

With an unemployment rate of around 15 percent, you’d think that no job opening in Michigan would go unanswered.

But there’s one high profile job that will be available at the end of the year that no one seems to want to apply for: Democratic candidate for Governor of Michigan.

First Lt. Gov. John Cherry was forced to bow out of a race of which he was the front-runner because he couldn’t raise any money.

Next, former Detroit mayor and prominent attorney Dennis Archer declared that he wasn’t interested.

Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow have both said that they won’t run.  (It’s in there. Trust me.)

Now, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano said he’s not running either.

While House Speaker Andy Dillon (D-Redford) seems like a logical candidate that is well-known statewide, but his popularity among the party rank-and-file is questionable in light of his support of consolidating the benefit plans of all state employees. Plus, he’s only just formed a committee to raise money for a potential bid. What if he runs into the same problem that Cherry did?

It’s getting so strange that some of the names being bandied about as great candidates either have no public affairs experience  (Denise Ilitch) or just don’t make sense (Joe Dumars).

Surely, someone will take the plunge. Mike Cox is the only Republican to win a statewide election since 1998. [UPDATE: An astute commenter reminded me that Terri Lynn Land also won two elections as Secretary of State as a Republican. Thanks for reminding me.] (Judicial elections don’t count as they technically aren’t affiliated with parties). The task of following up Governor Granholm can’t be that daunting, can it?

(On second thought, don’t answer that.)

Archer won’t make bid for governor

Dennis Archer, former Detroit mayor, former Michigan Supreme Court justice, former president of the American Bar Association and current chairman of Dickinson Wright PLLC, says he doesn’t want to be the next governor of Michigan.

The 68-year-old Democrat told The Associated Press on Thursday that he is “not a candidate and will not be a candidate.”

He was mentioned as a possible candidate after Lt. Gov. John Cherry said Tuesday he would abandon his bid for governor.

Archer says he is “very happy” in his private life and his professional one as a lawyer in Detroit and “is not prepared to give that up again to become a public servant.”

Dillon to form campaign committee

So now it’s official. From the Detroit Free Press:

House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Township, will form a campaign committee Thursday to run for governor. …

Dillon’s entry into the race for governor has been widely speculated, and will come on the heels of the departure of Lt. Gov. John Cherry from the campaign on Tuesday.

Cherry won’t run for governor

LANSING (AP) — Lt. Gov. John Cherry, considered the Democratic front-runner to succeed Gov. Jennifer Granholm, said Tuesday he has decided not to enter the race.

Cherry told The Associated Press that he couldn’t raise the money needed to mount a successful campaign.

“It’s the economy,” he said in an interview. “People are not in a position to give financially for campaigns as they have in the past.”

“You would have to spend significant dollars on TV to have a successful campaign,” he said. “It just wasn’t there.”

There had been recent signs of trouble, with Cherry shaking up his campaign staff. But Cherry said his campaign was on track except for the money.

His withdrawal likely will cause Democrats who had stayed out of the race to reconsider. With just eight months until the August primary, any new candidates may have to be able to finance most of their own campaign. That could point toward someone such as businesswoman and University of Michigan Regent Denise Ilitch.

Cherry’s withdrawal also could open the way for House Speaker Andy Dillon or Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero to enter the race. Both have said they’re considering a run. Request for comment were left Tuesday with their staffs.

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano also has been mentioned as a possible candidate.

Already running are Democratic state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, former Rep. John Freeman and Michigan State trustee George Perles.