Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer, 51, on May 28 announced that he would challenge incumbent Republican Rick Snyder for Michigan governor. Schauer’s entry marks the first – and perhaps only – major Democratic challenger into the race.
Schauer, of Battle Creek, has been working as business development representative with the Michigan Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust. He served one term in Congress from 2009-2011. Prior to that he served three terms in the state House and two terms in the state Senate. Before his political career he ran the Community Action Agency in Battle Creek.
“I’m ready to run, I’m ready to work, and I’m ready to win in 2014,” he said in an e-mail to supporters. “Snyder thinks that the evidence of a vibrant economy can be seen in boardrooms and stock returns. You and I know that the backbone of a healthy Michigan is a strong middle class.”Snyder, who signed right-to-work legislation in December and a huge tax increase on senior pensions to pay for a business tax break early in his term, is hardly a lock to win re-election. “Democrats see the one-term congressman as their best shot against Snyder – the Democratic Governors Association commissioned a poll earlier this month that suggests Snyder is vulnerable, especially against Schauer,” says a May 28 Politico article. “Public polling, too, shows Snyder running almost even with possible Democratic challengers: an EPIC/MRA poll released late last month gave Schauer a 1-point advantage over Snyder, 39 percent to 38 percent. Snyder’s job approval stood at 38 percent positive, compared with 58 percent negative.”