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After graduating, Granholm clerked for Judge Damon Keith, a Senior Judge on the U. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, from 1987 to 1988.
Smietanka blamed Engler for trying to force him out of the 1998 race in favour of G.
Scott Romney, for dredging up the issue of his missed child support payments and for not supporting him more fully after he defeated Romney at the Republican convention.
Engler contested that Smietanka was a weak candidate who should have stepped aside for Romney, who would have beaten the inexperienced Granholm; she would then not have had a launch pad for her gubernatorial campaign in 2002. In office, she continued Kelley's work on protecting citizens and consumers' rights and established Michigan's first High Tech Crime Unit, appointing Terrence G. In April 1999, Granholm announced a lawsuit against RVP Development, builders of the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course, alleging that poor construction of the course had led to illegal discharges of sediment into Lake Michigan from erosion following heavy storms in 1998, which had "turned a ravine into a ravaged gorge".
In the 2002 election, incumbent Republican Governor John Engler was term-limited and not able to run for re-election to a fourth term in office.
The Republicans unified around Engler's Lieutenant Governor, Dick Posthumus. House, Granholm went on to defeat Posthumus by 1,633,796 votes (51.42%) to 1,506,104 (47.40%).
She then clerked for Judge Damon Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, became an Assistant U. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan in 1991 and in 1995 she was appointed to the Wayne County Corporation Counsel.
Granholm ran for Attorney General of Michigan in 1998 to succeed thirty-seven year Democratic incumbent Frank J. She defeated Republican John Smietanka, the 1994 nominee and former U. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, by 52% to 48% and served from 1999 to 2003.
Development company President Richard Postma refused to pay the 5,000 of state fines, saying that he had made moves to stop the erosion and accused Granholm of trying to make him "a poster child for her campaign of the future." Granholm responded that his "perception of the political landscape in Michigan is as poor as his ability to construct a golf landscape." In July 2000, Granholm's office settled with J. Penney after the retailer made numerous pricing and scanning errors in stores in Michigan. Penney paid a fine and agreed to designate "pricing associates" to monitor for errors in pricing.
The issue came to the attention of the Attorney General's office after a "repeat and progressively worse error rate" that saw 33% of items sold in December 1999 being sold for more at the register than they were listed for on the shelves. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Granholm directed state agencies to work with lawmakers in keeping the fight against terrorism within the powers of the state.
She is also a former chair of the Midwestern Governors Association.
She lived in the official Michigan Governor's Residence, located near the Capitol Building.
The campaign began as a relatively friendly one, He also tried to link Granholm to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Geoffrey Fieger's crime plan, which called for greater emphasis on rehabilitation for non-violent criminals and shortening their prison terms.