GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The race for governor in Michigan will no doubt be one of the most hotly contested of the year.

More than two months before the April filing deadline, as many as 20 Republicans, Democrats and third-party candidates say they are running to replace Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who is being term-limited out.

But with candidates holding forums and joint town halls, campaign season is already in full swing. That includes the politics of interparty primaries, which sometimes turn onetime colleagues into adversaries. A prime example is within the Republican party, where the two contenders with the most recognizable names are Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Calley has called for an independent investigation into the Larry Nasser scandal at Michigan State University even after Schuette announced a special counsel to do just that. Calley raised questions of conflict of interest and called for a new independent prosecutor law.

“It is my hope, and really I think it needs to be the citizen’s demand, that this include all the different influences on the decision-making process through the entire process,” Calley said after a recent forum in Grand Rapids with other Republican gubernatorial candidates. “So for example, how did a monster get away with this for so long? But even after he was caught, asking the questions about who knew what and when, why is it 2018 when these questions are finally being asked instead of 2016?”

For his part, Schuette said his department is perfectly capable of handling the investigation of MSU.

“I get hit with barbs from the Democrats. I get hit with barbs from Republicans. I think it probably means I’m ahead  in doing the right thing,” he told 24 Hour News 8. “The fact is that I appointed a strong independent counsel named (former Kent County Prosecutor) Bill Forsyth, impeccable reputation. Everybody understands that. West Michigan appreciates his leadership. Forty-two years as a prosecutor, a great reputation, and what he’ll do is he’ll call balls and strikes independently with a full and complete transparent report.”

The campaign activity is likely to only intensify as we move into the spring and summer. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 7 and the general election Nov. 6.