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Michigan's Governor's Race Tests the Democrats

When Michigan's lieutenant governor, John Cherry, announced earlier this month that he wouldn't seek the state's top elected post, Democrats here and across the country sighed in relief. Though the ostensible frontrunner to succeed Jennifer Granholm, a fellow Democrat, he couldn't muster enough interest, or money, to wage a credible campaign. But Cherry's departure effectively opens what's expected to be a fierce primary battle between two ambitious, business-minded Democrats for the task of keeping Michigan's governor's seat in the party's hands.

The emerging battle in Michigan in many ways reflects what's at stake for Democrats nationwide this year: 37 states are scheduled to hold gubernatorial elections in 2010. Democrats hold 19 of those seats, and Michigan is viewed as a toss-up by both major parties. The governor's races, as well as the Congressional elections, will therefore be key tests of whether the Democrats can extend their gains of recent years, or succumb to the same backlash that propelled Republican Scott Brown to his upset victory in the Massachusetts Senate race this week. The stakes are particularly high in Michigan, because whoever is elected governor will play a crucial role in redrawing legislative districts in the wake of the 2010 U.S. Census, which is expected to show significant population declines during the previous decade.

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  • 1

    In this day and age we are pretty much forced to argue our politics using the standard partisan labels, but the reality is Michigan wants and will elect MODERATES. Who has 'em?

  • 2

    Here's a suggestion for you: If you can get him to agree to it go have a good, looooong sit down with former Governor Bill Milliken (Michigan's longest serving Governor) and discuss not only Michigan but politics and public service in general.

  • 3

    It tests everything.

    When Governor Milliken took out the full page ads in the newspapers indicating that he thought that the Republican Party had lost it's bearings it was a clear signal that someone had not lost their senses.

    Milliken was of a similar cut as Wally Ford. Gentelmen in the true sense of the word, kind, thoughtful, intelligent, and supportive of the right thing to do.

    He appointed me to be the State Alternate Delegate to the first National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards.

    He also appointed me to be the State Technical Delegate to the National Conference on Operation Breakthrough. (This was about manufactured housing).

    And I won a Governor's Design Award for the Design Michigan Exhibition at Cranbrook.

    Milliken cared about improving and enhancing the environment.

    I have never seen his kind of understanding and leadership since.

    And the wild, scathing Republicans that are out there now would certainly make Lincoln cry.


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