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Schauer to run for Michigan Governor, 2014 battle lines coming into focus

U.S. Congress
Mark Schauer announced he will not run for Congress. U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg will face a new opponent after running against Schauer for several years.

The field seems cleared for two sons of Battle Creek to face each other in the 2014 race for Michigan governor.

Former Congressman Mark Schauer filed papers today to run as a Democrat.

Other Democrats explored the possibility and dropped back in favor of Schauer, whose political career spans from the Battle Creek City Commission, to the state Legislature and Congress.

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson says the early start – the 2014 elections are 17 months away – will help Schauer challenge Republican Governor Rick Snyder.

"It’s going to take a lot of organization. It’s going to take a lot of messaging. And it’s going to take a lot of money. To do that takes time," said Johnson.

Schauer was among the thousands of protestors who demonstrated last December at the state Capitol against the Right to Work law signed by the governor.

Snyder has indicated he intends to seek a second term, and is expected to formally announce later this year or early in 2014.

Bobby Schostak is the Michigan Republican Party chairman. He says state Republicans are ready to pounce on Schauer’s record in the state Legislature and Congress.

"We will make that very clear when you are voting for higher taxes, and more spending, and more regulation. It’s wrong for Michigan, and we will get that message out loud and clear, so we see him as very vulnerable," said Schostak.

Schauer is from Battle Creek, which is also the boyhood hometown of Governor Rick Snyder. Some of the issues in a Snyder-Schauer race could include spending on schools, local emergency managers, and the state’s new right-to-work law.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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