MIDLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s official: Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is running for state governor.

Schuette, who has previously served as a congressman, state senator and appellate judge, had long been known to be pursuing the race. He formalized his candidacy Tuesday evening during a barbecue event at the Midland fairgrounds.

“I don’t believe Michigan’s best days are behind us,” Schuette said.

He told 24 Hour News 8 his “No. 1 goal” was to make Michigan a “growth state, a paycheck state and a jobs state.”

“That means we need to have a jobs governor,” he continued. “I’m going to give Michigan families a pay raise.”

Schuette, 63, joins a growing list of people who are running for the Republican nomination, including Evan Space, Joseph Derose, Jim Hines, Mark McFarlin, and Sen. Patrick Colbeck of Canton. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is also widely expected to join the race, though he has yet to say so officially.

Gov. Rick Snyder cannot run for re-election because of term limits.

Former Sen. Gretchen Whitmer filed to run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in January. She too has a potentially large field of primary opponents including Bill Cobbs, Abdul El-Sayed, Shri Thanedar, Justin Giroux and Kentiel White.

There are also a number of candidates seeking the office from other parties, including the Green Party’s Dwain Reynolds and Jennifer Kurland. Bill Gelineau and John Tatar are vying for the Libertarian Party nomination.

Anthony Wayne Nick, Ryan Cox, Larry Hutchinson and Todd Schleiger have all registered committees with the Secretary of State’s Office with no political affiliation.

The race for governor will likely change. The deadline for filing with the Secretary of State’s Office isn’t until April 2018, which means any or all of these candidates may not qualify for the ballot, and others considering a run have plenty of time to turn in the necessary signatures.