WATCH: Schuette 'on duty' in the race for governor - WNEM TV 5

WATCH: Schuette 'on duty' in the race for governor

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Protesters stand outside the barbecue where AG Schuette is expected to announce his run for governor. (Source: WNEM) Protesters stand outside the barbecue where AG Schuette is expected to announce his run for governor. (Source: WNEM)
Protesters stand outside the barbecue where AG Schuette is expected to announce his run for governor. (Source: WNEM) Protesters stand outside the barbecue where AG Schuette is expected to announce his run for governor. (Source: WNEM)
MIDLAND COUNTY, MI (WNEM/AP) -

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is making official what has long seemed inevitable - he's running for governor.

The Republican hosted his annual barbeque for supporters in his hometown of Midland on Tuesday, where he made the announcement with "Schuette for Governor" signs onsite.

“We’re Michigan. We are the state that put the world on wheels. We built the weapons that preserved freedom and created America’s middle class. When we get knocked down, we get back up. Because it’s not in our DNA to stay down. And I’m here to serve notice to the world that we are Michigan and we are going to stay winning again,” Schuette said as he announced his run for governor.

The early-evening announcement came before next week's Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference - when donors, activists and others gather every two years.

Schuette focused on Michigan's economy in his opening speech.

“For Michigan to reach higher, we must have a governor who won’t accept the fate assigned to us by the liberal oleates,” Schuette said. “Instead, Michigan needs leaders who are laser-focused on jobs. More jobs, more paychecks and more people.”

He also said he will help lower taxes and give Michigan families a pay raise that has the people at his annual barbeque happy.

"He's going for the home run and he'll make it. Helping businesses grow, job creation - that's what Bill Schuette is about," Bob Eastman of Genesee County said. 

"He's straightforward, he's honest. He always looks you right in the eye. Even if he knows you're not going to like what he has to say, he looks you right in the eye and says it anyway. You gotta like that in a guy," Tom Stillings of Midland said. 

While inside the crowd was excited for Schuette's run for governor, outside was a different story. A protest, complete with signs reading "Schuette failed Flint" and "Schuette's on duty for himself." 

"Bill Schuette has worked his entire career to put women and children and families down and make it harder to get access to the care they need," Emily Clancy said. 

Schuette will be considered the front-runner in the Republican primary. Dr. Jim Hines and state Sen. Patrick Colbeck are the main Republicans running so far, though Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is weighing a bid.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder can't run again under term limits.

The 63-year-old Schuette has been a congressman, state senator and appellate judge.

Copyright 2017 Associated Press/WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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