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Bill Schuette
President Donald Trump with Bill Schuette (cropped).jpg
Schuette in 2018
53rd Attorney General of Michigan
In office
January 1, 2011 – January 1, 2019
Governor Rick Snyder
Preceded by Mike Cox
Succeeded by Dana Nessel
Judge of the Michigan Fourth District Court of Appeals
In office
January 1, 2003 – January 1, 2009
Preceded by Donald Holbrook
Succeeded by Michael Kelly
Member of the Michigan Senate
from the 35th district
In office
January 11, 1995 – January 8, 2003
Preceded by Joanne Emmons
Succeeded by Michelle McManus
Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture
In office
January 11, 1991 – February 25, 1994
Governor John Engler
Preceded by Robert Mitchell
Succeeded by Gordon Guyer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 10th district
In office
January 3, 1985 – January 3, 1991
Preceded by Donald Albosta
Succeeded by Dave Camp
Personal details
William Duncan Schuette

(1953-10-13) October 13, 1953 (age 70)
Midland, Michigan, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse Cynthia Grebe
Children 2, including Bill
Education Georgetown University (BS)
University of San Francisco (JD)

William Duncan Schuette (/ˈʃti/ SHOO-tee; born October 13, 1953) is an American lawyer and politician who served as the 53rd attorney general of Michigan from 2011 to 2019. He was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for Senate in 1990 and for Governor of Michigan in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

Early life

Schuette was born in Midland, Michigan. He is the son of Esther Cathrin (Little) and William H. Schuette, and step-son of Carl Gerstacker, former chairman of the board of The Dow Chemical Company. Schuette graduated from Herbert Henry Dow High School in 1972. He attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and in 1976 graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in the Foreign Service. He also studied at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and received a J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1979. Schuette was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1981.

Political career

Reagan Contact Sheet C27081 (cropped)
Schuette meeting with President Ronald Reagan in 1985
Bush Contact Sheet P16103 (cropped)
Schuette with President George H. W. Bush in 1990
President Donald Trump with Bill Schuette
Schuette with President Donald Trump in 2018
Schuette at his 2011 Inauguration

Schuette was a delegate to the Michigan Republican conventions in 1972, 1974, and 1982.

In November 1984, at the age of 31, Schuette narrowly defeated incumbent Democrat Donald J. Albosta for a seat in the United States House of Representatives from Michigan's 10th congressional district. Schuette was re-elected to the two succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1985 until January 3, 1991. In 1990, he unsuccessfully challenged Democratic United States Senator Carl Levin for reelection. While in Congress, Schuette served on the House Budget Committee, the House Agriculture Committee and the House Select Committee on Aging.

In January 1991, Schuette was named by then-Governor John Engler as the director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture. The incumbent director, Robert Mitchell, resigned after Engler was elected governor. He was approved by the five member agriculture commission on January 11, 1991. While director, Schuette and his wife Cynthia created the Michigan Harvest Gathering, a food and fund drive to help feed hungry people throughout the state. Joining with the Food Bank Council of Michigan, the Michigan Harvest Gathering has raised more than $4 million and 6 million pounds of food over a 12-year period. He resigned from his post on February 25, 1994 to run for the Michigan State Senate. He was replaced by Gordon Guyer as director of agriculture.

In November 1994, he was elected to the Michigan Senate from the 35th district, where he served until 2003. In 2001, Schuette was selected by President George W. Bush to be his personal representative to Australian-American Friendship Week in Australia.

In November 2002, he was elected a judge on the Michigan Fourth District Court of Appeals. He succeeded Donald E. Holbrook Jr. He took office in January 2003. His term expired on January 1, 2009. He was replaced by Michael J. Kelly.

..... Schuette served as a spokesperson for a group opposed to the proposed law. After leaving the judiciary, Schuette worked for Warner, Norcross & Judd, one of Michigan's largest law firms.

On November 2, 2010, Schuette won the election to become Michigan Attorney General.

In September 2011, petition language to recall Schuette was approved by Midland County authorities, allowing the circulating of recall petitions.


Before the Supreme Court's 2015, decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, Schuette fought against same-sex marriage.

On August 19, 2015, Schuette endorsed Jeb Bush for president.

In December 2016, Schuette filed suit to try to stop a presidential election recount effort in Michigan requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

In January 2017, Schuette was admonished by Eastern District of United States of Michigan Judge David M. Lawson for attempting to file an amicus brief taking an opposite position than Schuette originally took on the issue of requiring the State of Michigan to supply bottled water to Flint residents who lack tap filters. Judge Lawson said it injected a "troubling ethical issue into [the] lawsuit" and it suggested "superficial posturing" on behalf of Schuette.

Schuette chose not to challenge incumbent Dan Kildee for his congressional seat in the redrawn district which includes Schuette's home of Midland in the 2022 midterm election.

2018 gubernatorial campaign

Schuette was widely believed to be planning to run for governor of Michigan. In July 2016, before speaking on the opening day of the 2016 Republican National Convention Schuette changed the name of his fundraising committee from "Bill Schuette for Attorney General" to "Bill Schuette for Michigan." Despite being ineligible for a further term as Attorney General due to term-limits, Schuette had continued to raise funds since his November 2014 re-election.

In December 2016, Schuette said he had not made up his mind on running for governor but would make a decision sometime in 2017. This is backed up by reports of a falling out between the Attorney General and Governor Rick Snyder.

On September 12, 2017, Schuette announced his campaign for governor in Midland, Michigan. On August 7, 2018, Schuette won the Republican nomination for Michigan governor by defeating Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and state Senator Patrick Colbeck. His candidacy was supported by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. On November 6, 2018, he lost the general election to Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, a former Michigan senate leader, by a nine-point margin.

Personal life

Schuette lives in Midland, Michigan with his wife Cynthia. They have two children. One of Schuette's children, Bill G. Schuette was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2022.

Electoral history

Michigan's 10th Congressional District election, 1984
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Bill Schuette 104,950 50.1 +11.2
Democratic Don Albosta (incumbent) 103,636 49.4 -10.7
Libertarian Bill Leef 1,054 0.5 +0.5
Majority 1,314 0.7 -20.5
Turnout 209,645 +23.5
Republican gain from Democrat
Michigan's 10th Congressional District election, 1986
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Bill Schuette (incumbent) 78,475 51.1 +1.0
Democratic Don Albosta 74,941 48.8 -0.6
Write-In Write-in 8 0.005 N/A
Majority 3,534 2.3 +1.7
Turnout 153,424 -26.8
Republican hold
Michigan's 10th Congressional District election, 1988
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Bill Schuette (incumbent) 152,646 72.7 +21.6
Democratic Mathias G. Forbes 74,941 26.4 -22.4
Libertarian Gary R. Bradley 1,812 0.9 +0.9
Other Other 7 0.003 N/A
Majority 77,705 46.3 +44.1
Turnout 209,863 +36.8
Republican hold
United States Senate election in Michigan, 1990
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Carl Levin (incumbent) 1,471,753 57.4 +5.6
Republican Bill Schuette 1,055,695 41.2 -6.0
Workers World Susan Farquhar 32,796 1.3 +1.24
Majority 416,058 16.2 +11.6
Turnout 2,560,494 +36.8
Democratic hold
Michigan Senate 35th District election, 1998
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Bill Schuette (incumbent) 61,510 70.4 N/A
Democratic Brian Baldwin 25,900 29.6 N/A
Majority 35,610 40.8 N/A
Republican hold
Michigan attorney general election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Bill Schuette 1,649,223 52.59% -1.29%
Democratic David Leyton 1,363,486 43.48% -0.03%
Libertarian Daniel Grow 62,737 2.00% +0.33%
Constitution Gerald Van Sickle 60,778 1.94% +0.95%
Majority 285,737 9.11% -1.21%
Turnout 3,136,224 -0.15%
Republican hold
Michigan attorney general election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Bill Schuette (incumbent) 1,603,471 52.11% -0.48%
Democratic Mark Totten 1,359,839 44.19% +0.71%
Libertarian Justin Altman 57,345 1.86% -0.08%
Constitution Gerald Van Sickle 30,762 1.0% -0.94%
Green John La Pietra 25,747 0.84%
Majority 243,632 7.92% -1.19%
Turnout 3,077,164 -1.88%
Republican hold
Michigan gubernatorial election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Gretchen Whitmer
Garlin Gilchrist
2,256,791 53.34% +6.48%
Republican Bill Schuette
Lisa Posthumus Lyons
1,853,650 43.81% -7.11%
Libertarian Bill Gelineau
Angelique Chaiser Thomas
56,752 1.34% +0.21%
Constitution Todd Schleiger
Earl P. Lackie
24,701 0.58% -0.03%
Green Jennifer V. Kurland
Charin H. Davenport
28,857 0.68% +0.21%
Natural Law Keith Butkovitch
Raymond Warner
10,258 0.24% -
Majority 403,141 9.53% +5.47%
Turnout 4,231,009 34.04%
Democratic gain from Republican Swing
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