FLINT, MI – Flint’s youngest-ever councilman is joining forces with Michigan’s youngest 2018 gubernatorial candidate.

Santino Guerra

Santino J. Guerra said Monday that he was looking forward to helping Abdul El-Sayed select a running mate who is educated, personable, and caring – and who would fight for Flint from inside the governor’s office.

“We live in a community that feels like we haven’t been represented in Lansing,” Guerra said. ‘Helping to decide who might be the next lieutenant governor will help make sure that we have a voice for our community.”

“Our next Lieutenant Governor should be someone who is a partner in leading for a more just, more equitable, and more sustainable Michigan,” El-Sayed said in a statement. “She or he must be able to understand and work for the diverse needs of Michiganders and have shown that commitment in past work.”

As a member of the El-Sayed campaign’s committee, Guerra will work alongside State Board of Education Member Lupe Ramos-Montigny, Benton Harbor School Board President Marletta Seats, and activists Virgie Rollins, Betsy Coffia, and Kyle Bowman.

“I hope the board can all bring different opinions and perspectives,” Guerra said, “and once we’re all together we can decide who the best candidate would be.”

Should El-Sayed not win the Aug. 7 Democratic primary, Guerra says he would not rule out working with either former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer or entrepreneur Shri Thanedar.

Whitmer has launched her own search for a potential lieutenant governor, forming a committee that includes University of Michigan Regent Mark Bernstein, former U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade, former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, and Wayne County Executive Warren Evans.

Recent polling from the Detroit Regional Chamber places Thanedar as the front-runner in the Democratic primary, leading former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer 29.6 percent to 26.3 percent. El-Sayed trails both with the backing of 6.6 percent of surveyed Democrats.

Whitmer has picked up the endorsements of Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), former U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), former Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, EMILY’s List, the Michigan Education Association, United Automobile Workers, and the Michigan AFL-CIO. El-Sayed, meanwhile, has been endorsed by Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17), Our Revolution President Nina Turner, activist Shaun King, activist Mari “Little Miss Flint” Copeny, Justice Democrats, Democracy for America, and the Michigan Nurses Association.

One of the three Democratic candidates will face either Attorney General Bill Schuette, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, Michigan Senator Patrick Colbeck, or Dr. Jim Hines in the general election.

Schuette leads the Republican primary with 36.3 percent support, compared to Calley’s 23 percent, according to the Detroit Regional Chamber. Colbeck and Hines polled at 4.3 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, former Michigan Governor John Engler, Congressman John Moolenaar (MI-04), the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and the Michigan Restaurant Association have endorsed Schuette for governor. Calley’s campaign has received the endorsements of incumbent Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and businessman Dan Devos, while Colbeck has the support of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and media personality Sean Hannity.

More than 30 percent of survey participants from both the Democratic and Republican parties remain undecided about who to support in the primary.

Michigan will hold its primary election on Aug. 7, ahead of the Nov. 6 general election.

Polling conducted by EPIC-MRA shows Thanedar defeating Schuette 44 percent to 38 percent and Whitmer defeating Schuette 43 percent to 38 percent in two hypothetical general election match-ups.

Andrew Roth is a reporter and photographer covering politics and policy in Michigan, as well technology, culture and their convergence. Andrew is a journalism student at Michigan State University and first...