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April 16, 2014

Gov. candidate announces West Bloomfield resident as running mate

By Cari DeLamielleure-Scott and Nick Mordowanec
C & G Staff Writers

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Mark Schauer is ready to make a run toward Lansing.

Schauer, a 52-year-old former U.S. representative from Michigan’s 7th District, is the Democratic candidate running against Gov. Rick Snyder.

The challenger has been making his rounds in anticipation of the Nov. 4 election, one in which Michigan residents will decide whether they want to stick with Snyder or see the state go in a different direction.

During a press conference on the campus of Oakland Community College, Schauer announced Oakland County Clerk and West Bloomfield resident Lisa Brown as his running mate April 3.

“Lisa Brown is a proven leader who’s always been a tough fighter for the middle class,” Schauer said, according to a press release. “In the Legislature, Lisa led the charge against Gov. Snyder’s $1 billion cut to education, and as Oakland County Clerk, she’s been a fearless champion for equal rights.”

Brown, a resident of West Bloomfield since 1991, served as the state representative for the 39th District 2009-2012. If Schauer is elected, Brown will replace Brian Calley as lieutenant and would be the fourth female lieutenant governor in Michigan’s history.

Brown said her experience within the Legislature will assist her with the role of lieutenant governor because she understands the current issues. As for her experience as a county clerk, she said it has prepared her for an administrative role.

“I always work in a bipartisan manner, and I know a lot of people I made relationships with are still in the Legislature,” Brown added.

Schauer recently stopped at The Imperial House in Clinton Township, where he spoke to a group of interested individuals about his plan to transform Michigan. Macomb County Treasurer Ted Wahby made the introduction, referring to Schauer’s younger years and summarizing what got Schauer to this point.

“(Schauer’s) dad was a teacher, and his mom was a nurse. By pumping gas and flipping burgers, Mark worked his way through Albion College,” Wahby said March 26.

Wahby said Schauer ran a nonprofit agency, with more than 200 employees, that helped seniors and children, that he was part of the Battle Creek City Commission in 1994 and fought against the outsourcing of American jobs.

“He represents all the people, and not just the few,” Wahby said.

Schauer’s speech mixed a recollection of his humble middle-class roots to how his vision of a stronger Michigan includes having a stronger education system. He referenced Snyder’s “one tough nerd” mantra and how people probably didn’t know what they were really getting.

“It seems to me that a nerd should know you don’t build a strong economy by cutting the most important priority for us, and that’s public education,” Schauer said. “The governor came in and cut a billion dollars from our public schools.

“We win the competition for jobs by being the talent state and educating our kids. It’s a moral obligation but also an economic imperative. I think education is the best economic development tool that there is.”

Brown echoed Schauer’s comments in an interview after Schauer’s speech at The Imperial House.

“Education is at the top,” Brown said, referring to the Schauer-Brown platform. “It’s an economic priority. Good jobs come from a good education, and we want to make sure every child has access to a good, quality education.”

Brown said it’s important to take away the profit motivation of charter schools so that every child, despite ZIP code, has access to quality education.

Schauer is adamant in his beliefs that a stronger education, coupled with better resources overall — such as keeping the Great Lakes as a viable, clean resource and improving upon renewable energy options — would be a lift to a state that needs one.

“Mark and I both … we love Michigan, and our greatest resource is our Great Lakes and our inland lakes. We need to do more to make sure they are protected,” Brown said, adding that Enbridge Energy Partners LLP — the company at fault for the Kalamazoo River oil spill in 2010, when a 30-foot pipeline ruptured — is in Schauer’s district.

“That’s something (Schauer) feels very passionate about and making sure things like that don’t happen again,” Brown said.

“We’re not our best Michigan at this moment,” Schauer said. “We have the fifth worst unemployment rate in the country; we’re 49th out of 50 in projected job growth. I think we can do better than that. So, we need a little common sense. We need to align our policies in a way that invest in people, invest in our communities and build a strong middle class again.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Cari DeLamielleure-Scott at cdelamielleure@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1093.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Nick Mordowanec at nmordowanec@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1118.