DETROIT — Kevin Rinke, who amassed a fortune in motor vehicle dealerships and traumatic mind injuries care, is committing $ten million of his individual prosperity towards searching for the Republican nomination for governor of Michigan and unseating incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Rinke, the former operator of Rinke Automotive Team, enters the crowded industry of 11 Republicans vying to just take on Whitmer in the November 2022 election.
On Monday, Rinke kicked off his campaign with a television ad airing in Michigan that draws on his roots as operator of a single of the ideal-doing Pontiac motor vehicle dealerships in the globe.
The ad capabilities Rinke driving a 1969 Pontiac GTO muscle motor vehicle on a race keep track of and when compared Whitmer to a Yugo, the Yugoslavian compact motor vehicle which is typically regarded in the auto sector to be amongst the worst cars ever developed.
“Gretchen Whitmer, she’s straight out of the assembly line of disastrous occupation politicians,” Rinke suggests in the ad. “She’s a Yugo.”
Rinke, sixty, who resides in Bloomfield Township, has been mostly out of the metro Detroit automotive dealership scene for more than a ten years immediately after marketing Rinke Automotive Team to Penske Automotive Team (previously UnitedAuto Team) in 2000.
Rinke Automotive Team was once a single of General Motors’ top rated-position dealership groups globally. Kevin Rinke’s cousin, Ed Rinke, owns Ed Rinke Chevrolet Buick GMC in Center Line, Mich.
Following marketing his dealerships to Roger Penske, Kevin Rinke labored for UnitedAuto Team in the early 2000s before turning out to be an govt at Sonic Automotive, an additional big publicly traded dealership group.
Rinke is focusing his campaign on Whitmer, even however he’ll have to knock off retired Detroit police chief James Craig, conservative commentator Tudor Dixon, Kalamazoo chiropractor Garrett Soldano and seven other lesser-acknowledged candidates in a Republican major next August.
In an interview Monday with Crain’s Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive Information, Rinke was significant of a single of Whitmer’s signature achievements — sweeping modifications to Michigan’s auto no-fault coverage technique.
“The invoice that was signed (by Whitmer) produced claims that it actually has not stored,” Rinke claimed. “And the folks that have been hurt that had valid promises have endured primarily based on how the invoice was published and I imagine that it requirements more operate.”
Following Rinke still left the automotive dealership small business, he purchased Cassell & Associates, two write-up-acute traumatic mind injuries rehabilitation clinics in Novi and Warren that care for hurt motorists. He later on marketed all those amenities to Boston-primarily based NeuroRestorative.
Rinke is not the initially multimillionaire to self-fund a campaign for Michigan governor.
Amway heir and West Michigan billionaire Dick DeVos put in a record $36 million in 2006 in an unsuccessful bid to topple incumbent Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
The $11 million Ann Arbor enterprise capitalist Rick Snyder put in in 2010 assisted him pull off an upset victory in the Republican major that calendar year in opposition to 4 occupation GOP politicians — and go on to acquire the governor’s office.
Rinke claimed he’s investing $ten million to “get out the message” and raise his name identification amongst Michigan Republican major voters.
“This is likely to be an costly race for governor,” Rinke told Crain’s. “I am inclined to invest in the people of Michigan with my possess funds simply because I have a little something to supply.”
Michigan Democratic Occasion spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite claimed Monday that Rinke is trying to “get” the governor’s office.
“Even though he options to set himself apart by trying to get this election, he stands with the relaxation of the industry in his severe views and his sole target on relitigating an election that happened around a calendar year in the past around issues that make any difference to Michigan people” Applewhaite claimed in a statement.
“Michiganders ought to have a governor which is actually likely to battle for working people and the issues they care about, like the not long ago signed infrastructure legislation that will invest in fixing nearby streets and produce excellent-having to pay positions.”