Prominent figure in Flint water crisis may run for governor

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A prominent figure in the Flint water crisis is reportedly running for governor but only if Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan does not run. 

Nobody is actually running for governor until he or she announces it, but here's the current thinking in the Congressman Dan Kildee camp.

"If Mike Duggan does not run for governor it is a fair conclusion that Dan Kildee will."

For the past six years or so, the Detroit mayor has repeatedly been asked if he will run for governor. And he has repeatedly said no and if that holds, Kildee will run barring a change of heart.

The Democratic congressman has immersed himself in the Flint water crisis and the crisis has re-shaped his thinking about running for governor.

Take this Off The Record PBS TV appearance December 4, 2015:  when asked if he was running for governor, he downplayed the possibility.

"I will think about that after the next election," he said. "It’s something I have in the back of my mind but I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it."

Tim Skubick: "If you had to decide today?"

If I had to decide today, I'd stay in congress.  I love this job," Kildee said.

But that was then and now is now and an inside source explains Mr. Kildee's thinking has changed. Given what happened in Flint,  Kildee thinks, "It matters who sits in that chair" and "the state does not need the philosophy of Snyder."

This Flint Democrat reacts to the Kildee for Governor potential candidacy.

"Dan is genuinely concerned and upset about the crisis and he wants to help," said Rep. Pam Faris (D-Clio).

The state Republican Party has harshly criticized Democrats for allegedly trying to exploit the Flint water crisis for their own political gain and it is a good bet they will attack Kildee for the same thing.

FOX 2: "The Republicans could go too far?"

"They could go too far," GOP consultant John Truscott said.  "I think it’s pretty tough to criticize someone for defending his own constituents."

Assuming Kildee runs, he will not be alone. Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel could run, U.S. attorney Barbara McQuade and the former Senate Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer will likely run. In fact she has a fundraiser set for tonight in Lansing as an unannounced candidate for governor.