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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Michigan's 2014 Governor Race Has Five Viable Candidates, after Senator Whitmer's Graceful Exit

English: Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan State Senator
Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan State Senator (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
State Senator and Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-Lansing) who has been making Michigan Politico buzz on if she would or would not run for Governor, has decided not to seek the higher office.

This is respectfully her choice and Ms. Whitmer has every right to decide what the future should hold for her family. In fact, Senator Whitmer stated rather clearly her reasons for bidding out of the 2014 race against the unpopular sitting Governor -- Rick Snyder (R), has everything to do with her two young daughters.
"I've said all along that I wouldn't be making this decision alone, but rather would be doing it along with my family, and in particular, what's best for my 2 girls. They're 9 and 10 years old now, and without question, being their Mom is the single most important thing in the world to me," Whitmer stated.

"So, while making this decision is undeniably difficult, knowing why I'm making it also makes it very easy. To be the kind of Mom I want to be for my girls simply does not allow me to make the kind of commitment necessary to run a successful campaign for Governor at this point in their lives. 
So, as much as I relish the challenge, as much as I want to see a change in the Governor's office and as truly honored as I am that so many of you believe in what I'm fighting for, I will not be running for Governor in 2014."
One, let's respect her thoughts on this. Second, its' time to move on into a frank and honest discussion of who in the field of potential candidates could beat the current Governor Rick Snyder (R).

1. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero-Democrat   

The first candidate that comes easily to our mind is Senator Whitmer's fellow Lansing area resident and Mayor Virg Bernero (D), who lost a previous bid to win Michigan's highest executive office to Rick Snyder in 2010.

Bernero's opinions on how to lead Michigan out of its' recession wasn't so unpopular in 2010 that the Mayor lost by 18 percentage points. Instead, we believe the State's Michigan Democratic Party never put a full force effort to ensure Mayor Bernero had a viable chance against the high-rolling monetary Snyder campaign cash cow machine of ALEC, Koch Brothers, The Mackinac Center for Public Policy Co-Horts, Grand Rapids based Amway Billionaire Founder Dick Devos and many Corporate Revenue First Minded C.E.O.'s.
Photo Credit -
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero

If Mayor Bernero was to consider another run to be Michigan's Governor, a December 2012 survey by Public Policy Polling found him beating Rick Snyder by a margin of 49/38%. Nothing the Mayor's has a 11% lead one year before Michigan's Governor race would began, we'd say Bernero is off to a flying start.

2. Former U.S. Congressman and Public Policy Advocate Mark Schauer-Democrat

Photo Credit -
Former U.S. Congressman
Mark Schauer
Despite losing his bit to remain in 2010 to remain U.S. House Representative to current Congressman Tim Walberg (R), as co-chair of Michigan's Blue Green Alliance the name Mark Schauer brings clout in the State's Politico circles. Schauer recently made news after being pepper sprayed on December 6, 2012 while peacefully protesting Michigan's Right-to-Work Legislation.

Having won a Congressional race in 2008, Schauer and a possible campaign team has the wherewithal required to raise funds necessary to launch a horse race against Governor Snyder. The open question is if Schauer has the will to step into Michigan politico scene again, and this time on a hyper-statewide scale.

The December 2012 PPP poll found Mark Schauer beating Governor Rick Snyder in a head to head match up by 44/39%, yet Schauer favorable/unfavorable ratings were higher at 10/18 respectfully. It's still very early in Michigan's Next Governor's race speculation game and if Schauer was to announce, expect his favorable ratings to shoot upwards very quickly.
3. U.S. Congressman Gary Peters-Democrat 

Having survived a four way race to retain a Congressional seat after Republican 2012 redistricting or "gerrymanding", U.S. Congressman Gary Peters could be a possible contender to toss his hat into the ring in Michigan Democratic Party race for Governor. 

Photo Credit -
U.S. Congressman Gary Peters
As a former Science Professor at Central Michigan University, Peters could hold an advantage in name recognition to win the necessary Southeast, Mid and West regions of Michigan to be successful at beating Governor Rick Snyder. Additionally, the 14th Congressional District is the most ethnically diverse in the State with a radius of large and medium size cities including part of Detroit, Grosse Pointe, Southfield, Farmington Hills, Pontiac, Novi and other areas in Oakland County.

Peters has a slightly higher favorable/unfavorable rating according to the December 2012 poll 16/20%, with 64% potential voters having no opinion about a possible Congressman Peter's run for Michigan's Governor's seat. Regardless, if Representative Peters was to announce his intent to seek Michigan's highest elected office he would presumably be immediately known and well funded.

4. & 5.  Michigan House Rep. Jeff Irwin and State Senator Bert Johnson
 - Democrats

Michigan House Rep. Jeff Irwin
Photo Credit- Detroit
Regional Chamber
Michigan State Senator
Bert Johnson
To speculate properly who might announce when for Michigan's Governor's race, it would be unfair to not include a surprise candidate or two, coming out of the back of the politico buzz machine to launch a stable race to win the Democratic State Nomination. Our "surprise" candidates include State Senator Bert Johnson of Highland Park and Michigan House Representative Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor.

Let's start with Representative Irwin. From Rick Snyder home area of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Irwin's popularity in the city of Maize and Blue could immediately make the Governor play defense in his home community. Irwin is also well-known in Washtenaw County having served as one of nine County Commissioners for 11 years.

Last but not least, State Senator Bert Johnson could emerge among the list of possible candidates to come out on top for Michigan's Democratic Party nomination for Governor. Johnson after serving five years in the Michigan State House from 2005-2010, won his State Senate seat after replacing former State Senator Martha G. Scott. With years of experience in Lansing, Johnson serves as campaign chair of the Senate Democratic and Detroit region Caucuses.

State Senator Whitmer decision to drop out of the race a bit early for Governor, leave room for at least Democrats five or more candidates ready to step up to lead a charge to remove Rick Snyder from office in 2014.
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