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Lucas Picks Running Mate

August 20, 1986

GAYLORD, Mich. (AP) _ Republican gubernatorial candidate William Lucas on Wednesday announced his selection of state Rep. Colleen Engler as his running mate in his attempt to oust Democratic Gov. James Blanchard.

Lucas, Wayne County’s executive, spent the last week at Norden Hem resort interviewing potential GOP lieutenant governor candidates. State convention delegates are expected to formally nominate Engler this weekend in Detroit.

Lucas, 58, is trying to become the country’s first elected black governor.

Engler, 34, was among three candidates Lucas defeated in the Aug. 5 Republican primary. She drew 11 percent of the votes and ran third behind businessman Richard Chrysler of Brighton.

Lucas, who said he believes his executive abilities and Engler’s legislative abilities will appeal to the people of Michigan, said voters are ready for a ticket with a black and a woman.

″I think they’ve proven it,″ he said. ″I am the nominee of the Republican Party. As you know, Colleen Engler finished third in that race.″

Lucas and Engler, wife of state Senate Majority Leader John Engler, face a tough fight against Blanchard, who is running for a second term and drew high approval ratings in recent polls. Blanchard’s lieutenant governor, 74-year-old Martha Griffiths, is expected to again share the Democratic ticket in November.

Griffiths spokeswoman Jane Higo said the lieutenant governor believes ″it should not be an emphasis on the fact that it’s two women running for lieutenant governor. She has said that what people need to do is look at the records and what both candidates have already done.″

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