Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

April 13, 2014

George Weeks: Stirrings in statewide, congressional races

There were interesting stirrings last week in Michigan’s gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, and northern congressional races:

— Gov. Rick Snyder, who is challenged by former Democratic congressman Mark Schauer of Battle Creek, was again accused by the state Democratic Party of helping his cousin on a state contract issue—a charge denied by Snyder.

On Friday at the 37th Annual Governor’s Breakfast sponsored by the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce, he said, “What goes on here is important for me to listen to.”

Snyder also had stops in Petoskey and Traverse City, including a meeting with Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals group, where he said that in 2013 Michigan had a nearly 16 percent increase in exports. He also attended a party event in Traverse City along with ex-Gov. William G. Milliken.

Snyder spokeswoman Sara Warfel, who accompanied Snyder, said: “Northern Michigan has really got it on.”

On Friday, the Michigan Farm Bureau announced endorsement of Snyder, and the Democratic Party said: “As families all over Michigan are filing their taxes, Democratic lawmakers and leaders will be barnstorming the State holding events to highlight the massive tax shifts onto middle class families and seniors under Gov. Snyder and legislative Republicans.”

— President Barack Obama weighed for the first time in the spirited race to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan’s longest-serving senator.  Republican Senate contender Terri Lynn Land of Byron Center, former two-term state secretary of state, has a likely face-off with third-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township.

Obama, in a fundraiser in Houston, as reported by The Detroit News, grouped Land with Republicans on the gender salary pay issue whom he claims, “just think this idea there’s a gender gap is a fantasy. It’s not real. …”

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