Schauer launches campaign for governor

May 28, 2013

Mark Schauer - file photo
Credit The Associated Press

Update with analysis from Western Michigan University Political Science Professor John Clark.

Former Congressman Mark Schauer has formally launched a campaign for governor

The Battle Creek Democrat said earlier this year that he was considering a run for the state's highest office. Several other Democrats who had been considering running for governor have announced in recent weeks that they are instead endorsing Schauer. MLive political columnist Tim Skubick reports that State Democratic Party Chairman Lon Johnson has been hoping to avoid a Democratic primary next year. 

Western Michigan University Political Science Professor John Clark tells WMUK's Gordon Evans that party leaders fear that competitive primaries provide lines of attack for the opposition party. He says they also worry that a competitive primary can drain money needed for a general election campaign. 

Clark says there can be benefits for a candidate or party in a competitive primary. He says it can get attention for a candidate. Clark says it can also help a candidate work on their message and skills such as debating. 

Polls have shown a close race in a matchup of Schauer and Snyder. But Clark says those same polls have shown Schauer is not well known in the state. He says that indicates that there is an opportunity for the Democrats against Snyder. But Clark says the race is likely to change with a Democratic candidate in the race. 

The Detroit News reports that Schauer will be at the Detroit Regional Chamber's annual Policy Conference on Mackinac Island beginning on Wednesday. The three-day conference has focused attention on political campaigns in the past. 

MLive reports on Republican reaction to Schauer's announcement. They say they are not surprised nor impressed by the Schauer campaign. 

Schauer served two years in Congress. He defeated incumbent Republican Tim Walberg in 2008. Walberg ran again in 2010 and gained the seat back by defeating Schauer. 

Before being elected to the U.S. House, Schauer served 12 years in the state Legislature. He spent six years in the Michigan House, winning his first election in 1996. Schauer was elected to the state Senate in 2002, and won re-election in 2006 becoming Senate Minority Leader. Schauer left the state Senate after his election to Congress.