Michigan News
10:38 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Governor Rick Snyder Launches Re-election Bid

Governor Rick Snyder says Michigan's economic recovery is just starting and he wants four more years to finish the job. The governor formally launched his reelection campaign with stops in Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids. Day Two of the governor's reelection announcement tour has stops scheduled in Traverse City, Frankenmuth and at Oakland Community College.

Snyder launches re-election bid
By Rick Pluta

Governor Rick Snyder says Michigan's economic recovery is just starting and he wants four more years to finish the job. The governor formally launched his reelection campaign with stops in Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids. Day Two of the governor's reelection announcement tour has stops scheduled in Traverse City, Frankenmuth and at Oakland Community College.

"Let's continue the reinvention of Michigan with relentless positive action," said Snyder at a stop at Two Men and a Truck in Lansing. The governor's tour is mostly stops at small and medium-sized companies that he says are benefitting from his business-friendly policies.
 

Governor Rick Snyder announces his re-election bid in Detroit
Credit Rick Pluta

"So we've come a long way over the last few years," he said. "The record's strong.

"We've started with a broken state to a state that's come back more than any other state in the United States. We're helping people find jobs. We're seeing personal income go up. We're seeing our population grow."

Not surprisingly, Democrats aren't buying the message. They say Snyder's papering over his record.

 "The last thing we need is happy talk and more catch phrases and a rebranding tour," said Mark Schauer. If things go as expected, the former congressman and legislative leader will be the Democrat who will face Snyder on the November ballot.

"What we really need is an economy that works for the middle class," he said in a conference call with reporters. "And that's exactly what I'll be focused on as governor."

So, Rick Snyder says hiring is up (which it is), and personal income is up (which it is). But Mark Schauer says Michigan still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country (which it does).
    
Expect to hear lots in this campaign about education spending and what's happened to K-through-12 funding. It is true that schools lost money in Year One of the Snyder administration. But that was mostly due to the loss of federal stimulus money that was never made up by the state. The governor says that's not his fault. But he says there is more money for classrooms. And that's because the state overhauled public employee retirement and health coverage, and forced teachers to pay more for their benefits.

That's a debate we'll sort through in the coming months.

Governor Snyder says this announcement tour is a big change from four years ago, when he was a dark horse candidate with a lot of business experience but a thin political resume.

"Hardly anyone was there," he said with a laugh. "A handful of you were there, but I would say it's nice to see other people actually attend events now."

Now, people certainly do show up, and some are not supporters.

In Lansing, like the other spots on the tour, protesters met the governor's car with chants like, "Power to the people - not to CEOs!"

"We're here to talk about what this governor inside is not going to talk about. He wants to talk about he's the 'comeback governor,'" said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson. "Well, the people of Michigan are not seeing that."

This announcement tour is a brief spin through Michigan's Lower Peninsula before Snyder returns to Lansing for the governor's annual budget presentation on Wednesday. There's earltt word that he'll call for more money for schools, job training, and higher education, with a little tax giveback thrown in.

It will be one more opportunity early in this election season to make the case that things have gotten better in Michigan over the past three years, and he's been part of the solution. A claim that will not go uncontested.