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‘Quality guru’ is 13th in GOP to run for Michigan governor

January 27, 2022 GMT

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Perry Johnson, a “quality guru” who founded a company that certifies if businesses are meeting industrial standards, filed papers Thursday to run for Michigan governor.

The 74-year-old from Bloomfield Hills is the 13th Republican seeking the nomination to face first-term Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, in November. He plans to make a formal announcement in February, joining contenders who include former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, businessman Kevin Rinke, chiropractor Garrett Soldano and Tudor Dixon, who worked in the steel industry and as a conservative media host.

“Michiganders deserve better, demand better and with an emphasis on quality would have a much better government,” Johnson said in a written statement issued a day after the governor’s annual State of the State address. Her speech, he said, “completely ignored the horrendous quality that taxpayers receive for their money from state government” — citing unemployment fraud, COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes and Benton Harbor’s water crisis.

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Johnson, who said he would implement statistical methods to improve state government, started Troy-based Perry Johnson Registrars Inc. in 1994. His campaign said it is the country’s largest such outfit, auditing the quality-management systems of manufacturers and other businesses. It has offices in eight other countries.

It was unclear how much of his own money Johnson may spend to run.

The Democratic Governors Association called Johnson an “unknown, out-of-touch millionaire” and said his entrance to the race is another sign that former Detroit Police Chief James Craig is struggling. Craig, whose former consultant is now helping Johnson, seemed to have the backing of top party officials when he launched his campaign.

“While these out-of-touch candidates attack each other and push extreme agendas, Gov. Whitmer continues to address the biggest challenges facing Michiganders,” said DGA spokesperson Sam Newton. He pointed to General Motors’ plan to add 4,000 jobs, pending $400 per-vehicle auto insurance refunds and record education funding levels.

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