Michigan Secretary of State election, 2014

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Michigan Secretary of State Election

Primary Date:
August 5, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Ruth Johnson Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Ruth Johnson Republican Party
Ruth Johnson.png

Michigan State Executive Elections
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Governor Lieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney General

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The Michigan Secretary of State election took place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Ruth Johnson (R) was first elected in 2010 and was seeking re-election in 2014. She won a four-year term by defeating Democratic candidate Godfrey Dillard, Libertarian Party candidate Jamie Lewis, Natural Law Party candidate Jason Gatties and U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate Robert Gale.

This seat was targeted during the general election by SOS for Democracy and SOS for SOS, outside groups who were lobbying for liberal and conservative secretary of state candidates, respectively.[1][2]

Michigan is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[3][4][5] The attorney general and secretary of state did not appear on the primary ballot, and the gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial positions did not have contested primaries in 2014.[6]


General election

Republican Party Ruth Johnson - Incumbent Green check mark transparent.png
Democratic Party Godfrey Dillard
Libertarian Party Jamie Lewis
Independent Jason Gatties - Natural Law Party candidate
Independent Robert Gale - U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate


General election

Secretary of State of Michigan, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRuth Johnson Incumbent 53.5% 1,649,047
     Democratic Godfrey Dillard 42.9% 1,323,004
     Libertarian James Lewis 2% 61,112
     U.S. Taxpayer Robert Gale 1.1% 34,447
     Natural Law Jason Gatties 0.4% 13,185
Total Votes 3,080,795
Election Results via Michigan Department of State.

Campaign themes

Godfrey Dillard and Ruth Johnson spoke about their reasons for seeking the secretary of state's office on their campaign websites. The following sections quote candidate statements verbatim from their websites.

Godfrey Dillard

Reduce Fees - Driving is a necessity. As a state we should be doing more to make sure we can train and license as many people as possible to drive. Removing the high cost of getting a license is just one way we can train more people to be safe drivers. Godfrey Dillard is your consumer advocate dedicated to finding ways to reduce the costs and fees for all licensing from boats to motorcycles as well as the yearly requirement for vehicle registrations.

Protect Privacy - People are not products or inventory in a grocery store. How much information is stored in your bar-code, who is your personal information being shared with and what happens to your information every time someone swipes your license through a machine? Godfrey Dillard is committed to protecting your private information and making oversite of your privacy a number one priority. Time to pull back the veil of secrecy covering the use of our private, bar-coded information.

No More Long Lines - Godfrey Dillard will make it easier to keep your license and tabs up to date by increasing the number of clerks as well as advocating for multiple year tabs and registration so you don't have to pay every year for the rest of your life just to have a license plate. We can do better than that. You deserve more on your birthday. [7]

—Godfrey Dillard's campaign website, (2014) [8]

Ruth Johnson

Ruth Johnson has always been a fighter. Since she was elected in 2010, she’s fought to change the way government works for you – to protect your vote, to improve customer service and to make government more accountable to the people it serves:

Customer Service – Better. Faster. More Convenient.

  • Launched ExpressSOS.com, tripling online services. To date, the “online, no-wait Secretary of State” has handled more than three million transactions.
  • Shortened lines in the branch office system, despite staff levels 25 percent below what they were a decade ago.
  • Reduced the department’s general fund budget by 20 percent.
  • Put two self-serve stations in retail stores – a Michigan first – as part of a pilot program.
  • Customers can now get their milk, bread, eggs and license plate tabs in a single trip.

Election Integrity – Ruth fought for – and won – the most comprehensive election reform in recent history:

  • Tough new requirements for campaign contribution reporting so voters can “follow the money,” making elections more transparent and our elected officials more accountable.
  • The first-ever election audits and online training for Michigan’s 30,000 poll workers.
  • A new U.S. citizenship affirmation on ballot applications.
  • Put technology to work by expanding electronic poll books and launching smartphone apps so voters can more easily access critical election information.
  • Ensuring Election Integrity by removing those who have died, moved and who are not U.S. Citizens from the voter rolls.

Caring for veterans and Michigan families

  • Co-founded OPERATION: OUR TROOPS COUNT, which fights to protect the vote of our overseas military members and assist Michigan’s 680,000 veterans in getting the benefits they have earned and deserve.
  • Launching a special driver’s license for veterans and working to put information about veterans’ benefits in branch offices.
  • Partnered on legislation to create the first fundraising license plate to directly benefit Michigan veterans.
  • Brought a record-setting ONE MILLION new donors to Michigan’s Organ Donor Registry by changing old thinking and coming up with creative, no-cost ways to promote organ donor signups.


—Ruth Johnson's campaign website, (2014) [9]


Michigan Secretary of State - Johnson vs. Dillard
Poll Ruth Johnson * (R) Godfrey Dillard (D)OtherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
September 25-29, 2014
October 17-19, 2014
October 26-28, 2014
AVERAGES 41% 33.33% 20% 5.67% +/-4 600
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.
  • An asterisk (*) denotes incumbent status.

Past elections


2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election[10]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Ruth Johnson 50.7%
     Democratic Party Jocelyn Benson 45.2%
     Libertarian Party Scotty Boman 1.8%
     U.S. Taxpayers Robert Gale 1.3%
     Green Party John A. La Pietra 1.0%
Total Votes 3,173,248

Campaign finance

Comprehensive donor information for this election has been collected by Follow the Money. Based on available campaign finance records, the candidates raised a raised a total of $588,240 during the election. This information was last updated on May 14, 2015.[11]

Campaign Contribution Totals
Candidate Office Result Contributions
Ruth Johnson Republican Party Michigan Secretary of State Won $416,492
Godfrey Dillard Democratic Party Michigan Secretary of State Defeated $171,748
Jamie Lewis Libertarian Party Michigan Secretary of State Defeated $0
Robert Gale Independent Michigan Secretary of State Defeated $0
Jason Gatties Independent Michigan Secretary of State Defeated $0
Grand Total Raised $588,240

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
April 22, 2014 Filing deadline for political party candidates
July 7, 2014 Filing deadline for minor party candidates
August 5, 2014 Primary election
November 4, 2014 General election
January 1, 2015 Inauguration day for state executive officials elected in November

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Michigan Secretary of State Election News Feed

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See also

External links

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