Michigan Attorney General election, 2010

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Candidates for State Attorney General, 2010

Polls, 2010 State Attorney General elections

2010 Election information
Primary election dates
Statewide elections, 2010
November 2nd General Election results

National Association of Attorneys General

AttyGenLogo.jpg Attorney General news headlines
The Michigan Attorney General election of 2010 was held on November 2, 2010. Republican incumbent Mike Cox, unable to run for re-election due to term limits, announced he would instead enter the election for governor.

Following state conventions held by both major political parties in the last weekend of August, former judge Bill Schuette (Republican) defeated Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton (Democrat), Daniel W. Grow (Libertarian) and Gerald Van Sickle (U.S. Taxpayers Party) in the general election.

Race tracking

See also: 2010 State Attorneys General/Election Racetracking

Both Ballotpedia and Governing magazine predicted a Republican win.

2010 Race Rankings for Michigan Attorney General
Race Tracker Race Rating
Ballotpedia Leans Republican
Governing[1] Likely Republican
Overall Call Leans Republican

General Election campaign


Republican Party Republican Party - Former judge Bill Schuette
Democratic Party Democratic Party - Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton
Libertarian Party Libertarian Party - Kalamazoo attorney Daniel W. Grow
Constitution Party U.S. Taxpayers Party (Constitution Party) - Gerald Van Sickle

General election results

2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election[2]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Bill Schuette 52.3%
     Democratic Party David Leyton 43.5%
     Libertarian Party Daniel W. Grow 2.3%
     U.S. Taxpayers Gerald Van Sickle 1.9%
Total Votes 3,136,224


September 24th - WKAR TV

Tim Skubick, 6 News Capitol Correspondent and host of public television's "Off the Record" program, moderated the first debate between the two major party candidates in the state attorney general contest - Democrat David Leyton and Republican Bill Schuette - located at the WKAR TV station in East Lansing on Friday, September 24th.

Click here to view the entire debate


David Leyton

Bill Schuette


See also: Polls, 2010 State Attorney General elections

Glengariff Group Poll

Glengariff Group Inc., a strategic planning and marketing research company based out of Chicago, surveyed 600 likely voters from across Michigan between September 7 and 8, 2010. The polling data indicated that Leyton is suffering from two major issues. The first is that despite having secured the support of the his state party months earlier then Schuette, he has failed to utilize the time properly in making his name familiar to state voters. The survey shows that Schuette enjoys a 43.5% name identification compared to the 23.5% of Leyton. The Democratic prosecutor is also struggling with independents with interviewed unaffiliated voters backing Schuette over Leyton 40.8% - 21.6%, though 35.3% remain undecided.[11]

Glengariff Group Poll - September 7 – 8, 2010[12]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Bill Schuette (R) 43.2%
David Leyton (D) 34.0%
Undecided 21.8%
Total voters 600

Public Policy Poll

Public Policy Polling, a Democratic Party-affiliated polling firm based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, surveyed 497 likely Michigan voters from across the state between September 17 and 19, 2010. The polling data shows very little difference from the Glengariff survey conducted less than two weeks earlier. The only slight difference that can be noted is that Leyton demonstrates a slight gain among unaffiliated voters with polling numbers showing him with 25% support opposite Schuette's 40% showing; thirty-five percent remain undecided.[13]

Public Policy Poll - September 17 – 19, 2010[14]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Bill Schuette (R) 43%
David Leyton (D) 36%
Undecided 22%
Total voters 497

Convention candidates

See also: Michigan gubernatorial election, 2010; Michigan Secretary of State election, 2010

Michigan parties nominate their candidates for statewide office through party conventions in the fall, not primaries.

Donkey symbol.png Democratic candidates


Drop outs

  • After filing paperwork with the secretary of state's office three months earlier, State Senator Gretchen Whitmer ended her campaign in late-January 20010 so that, according to her, she could spend more time with her family.[17][18]
  • Attorney Richard J. Bernstein[19]


David Leyton


Richard Bernstein Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [22] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
Decemberl 8 - 31, 2009[23] January 28, 2010 $0.00 $5,474.00 $16.38 $0.00 $0.00 $5,474.00

Gop logo2.jpg Republican candidates




Bill Schuette


According to the Michigan Department of State, as of June 29, 2010, here is the breakdown of campaign finances for each of the candidates:

Michael Bishop Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [22] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
February 18 - December 31, 2009[34] February 1, 2010 $0.00 $107,195.00 $0.00 $0.00 $31,874.11 $75,320.89
Bill Schuette Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [22] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
January 1 - December 31, 2009[35] February 1, 2010 $0.00 $407,215.00 $27,806.99 $0.00 $190,352.92 $217,128.15


See also: Polls, 2010 State Attorney General elections
Glengariff Group Poll

Glengariff Group Inc., a strategic planning and marketing research company based out of Chicago, surveyed 500 likely Republican primary voters from across the state between July 12 and 13, 2010. Though the nominee for state attorney general is selected during the state party convention, polling data showed that if left to the voters to decide the race would essentially be a dead heat between the two candidates.

Glengariff Group Poll - July 12 – 13, 2010[36]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Mike Bishop (R) 19.4%
Bill Schuette (R) 18.8%
Undecided 61.8%
Total voters 500


Brenda Simpson criticism

The mother of an eleven year-old little boy who was found dead in the Flint River eighteen days after he disappeared in April 1985 came out against Leyton, criticizing him for failing to prosecute her son's case. Brenda Simpson argued that, in spite of "witness statements and evidence from a new post-mortem exam that indicated he had been poisoned before he went in the river," the Genesee County prosecutor declined to file charges against the stepmother of the child in 2005 when he took up the case and refused to meet with Simpson to discuss his reasons for making this decision.[37] Two years later, Attorney General Mike Cox was able to file formal charges and receive convictions for the stepmother and her brother in the poisoning and drowning death of the child.

False Tea Party

Conservatives and Libertarians throughout Michigan accused a newly formed political party of donning the title "TEA Party," the name given to recent conservative/libertarian political activists, under false pretenses. Critics argued that "the actual tea party movement isn't a real political party. It's a loose-knit group of conservative and libertarian activists who are irate at the spending, taxes, TARP, and other big government leftism that has gone on for the past six years."[38] Furthermore, a number of the twenty-three candidates the party nominated for various races in November 2010 had "donated to either democratic candidates/causes or to union PACs;" none of their contributions have been to Republican/conservative candidates or causes.[39] Conservative commentators contended that this was an attempt by liberal activists to confuse voters and siphon off two or three percent of the ballots cast in order to keep Democratic candidates in office.

MDP attack ad

The Michigan Democratic Party released an online advertisement attacking Bill Schuette, Republican candidate for state attorney general, who, at the time, had not yet secured the nomination of the Republican Party. The ad attempted to link the former state senator to the oil industry and, by association, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. During his tenure in the state legislature, Schuette had sponsored and legislation that would allow for drilling in the Great Lakes.[40][41]

Critics argued, however, that the video distorted what the measure was really about. Although the legislation did allow for drilling in the region, "the vote in question was not for drilling IN the lakes but rather under it... from shore,"[42] making any comparison to the Gulf disaster farfetched.

See also

External links

General Election candidates


Former candidates


  1. Governing “Attorney General Race Ratings” 12 Oct. 2010
  2. Michigan Department of State - 2010 General Election Results
  3. Communication Workers of America - Endorsements
  4. Lansing State Journal, "Leyton is choice for attorney general" 16 Oct. 2010
  5. Michigan Liberal, "LSJ endorsement editorial for Leyton" 16 Oct. 2010
  6. AFL-CIO - 2010 Endorsements
  7. Midland Daily News, "Michigan Chamber of Commerce endorses Bill Schuette for attorney general" 17 Sept. 2010
  8. Earth Times, "Michigan Retailers Association Endorses Schuette" 23 Sept. 2010
  9. The Oakland Press, "Editorial: No doubt Johnson and Schuette are best" 6 Oct. 2010
  10. Life News, "Michigan Pro-Life Group Backs Attorney General, Secretary of State Candidates" 13 Sept. 2010
  11. The Michigan Messenger, "Poll: GOP leads key state races" 10 Sept. 2010
  12. Glengariff Group, Inc. "Michigan September 2010 General Election Survey" 9 Sept. 2010 (dead link)
  13. The Detroit News, "Polls show wide gap between Snyder, Bernero" 22 Sept. 2010
  14. Public Policy Polling, "Snyder Headed to Blowout Over Bernero for MI Gov." 21 Sept. 2010
  15. WJRT-TV "David Leyton to run for state attorney general's office" 26 Jan. 2010
  16. The Flint Journal, "Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton secures Democratic nomination for attorney general" 29 Aug. 2010
  17. The Michigan Messenger, "Whitmer files paperwork for attorney general run" 6 Oct. 2009
  18. Young & Conservative, "Gretchen Whitmer Drops out of Michigan Attorney General Race, Do Dems Still Have Faith in Michigan?" 28 Jan. 2010
  19. Michigan Live, "Report: Attorney Richard Bernstein files to run for Michigan Attorney General" 4 Jan. 2010
  20. Flint Journal, "Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton wins Michigan Democrats endorsement in attorney general race" 17 April, 2010
  21. Blogging for Michigan, "David Leyton Michigan Democratic Party ENDORSEMENT Convention endorsed candidate for AG" 18 April, 2010 (dead link)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 As these are not cash contributions, they are not reflected in the reported ending balance.
  23. Michigan Department of State - Richard Bernstein 2009 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  24. Blogging for Michigan, "Mike Bishop Wants to be Your Next Attorney General!" 18 Feb. 2009
  25. Michigan Redneck, "Bill Schuette Launches Campaign to be Michigan’s Attorney General" 19 Sept. 2009
  26. Detroit Free Press, "Attorney edges out Mike Bishop in attorney general nomination" 28 Aug. 2010
  27. Michigan Live, "GOP state senator Bruce Patterson explores run for Michigan AG" 14 Jan. 2009
  28. Midland Daily News, "Upton endorses Schuette for AG" 17 April, 2010
  29. Michigan Radio, "Key Endorsement in Michigan Attorney General's Race" 8 March, 2010
  30. Midland Daily News, "Schuette off to strong start for AG post" 28 March, 2010
  31. The Detroit News, "Bing backs Dillon; former gov endorses Snyder" 23 July, 2010
  32. Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce - Chamber PAC Announces Statewide, 2nd & 3rd Congressional District Endorsements
  33. Michigan Health & Hospital Association, "MHA Backs Schuette for Attorney General " 2 June, 2010
  34. Michigan Department of State - Mike Bishop 2009 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  35. Georgia State Ethics Commission - Bill Schuette 2009 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  36. The Detroit News, "Support split for GOP AG hopefuls" 19 July, 2010
  37. Detroit Free Press, "Murder victim’s mom blasts candidate for AG" 13 Sept. 2010
  38. Republican Michigander, "The Bullsh-t "Tea Party" (BSTP) releases their candidate list. Several are open democrats" 27 July, 2010
  39. Right Michigan, "Beware of artificial ingredients!" 27 July, 2010
  40. YouTube, "Bill Schuette on Duty...for Big Oil" 24 May, 2010
  41. Michigan Liberal, "MDP goes after Bill Schuette" 24 May, 2010
  42. Right Michigan, "Schuette Draws Dem Attacks Early" 11 june, 2010