As uncertain as Michigan's fortunes have become, there is one reason for hope: A new governor will be elected in November. Whoever the next governor is, the expectation is he or she will lead the Michigan out of its malaise.
Michigan's gubernatorial race ought to be a turning point. It should be full of candidates with ideas to forge the state's turnaround. It should be defined by a thorough public discussion about Michigan's challenges and how they must be overcome.
If there's one thing the governor's race doesn't need, it's a descent into cheap shots and dirty politics. Sadly, the beginning stages of the contest already have been marred by such practices.
.Michigan doesn't have time for this. The state's double-digit unemployment rate leads the nation. Its exodus of manufacturing jobs and high foreclosure rate demand fresh ideas and effective leadership.
This state desperately needs candidates who are willing to tackle the challenges it faces, instead of attacking each other. If ever there was a time to focus on the issues, this is it.