Democrats are working together. Don’t wake me up.
Yesterday education leader John Austin, the President of the Michigan Board of Education and potential candidate for Lt. Governor in 2014, stepped back to clear the way for a gubernatorial bid by Mark Schauer.
Today, another potential Democratic contender did the same. Bart Stupak, former Congressman from Michigan’s enormous 1st Congressional District threw his support behind an as-yet unannounced Schauer candidacy:
This week, the buzz around a potential Mark Schauer run for governor has been building, and I want to add my voice to the mix.
Mark and I were in the trenches together in Congress in 2009 and 2010. He’s one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met, and I know he’d make a terrific governor. I believe Mark is the candidate who can not only unify Democrats but also attract Independent voters. He has an ability to bring people together, and as governor he will reverse the damage Rick Snyder’s policies have done to hard-working families across Michigan.
Mark has spent his career fighting tirelessly for the workers and families of this state. I know he has a special place in his heart for the UP, where his wife Christine hails from, and I hope to be campaigning with them here in the near future.
This is the kind of thing that gives Democratic organizers like me goosebumps because it means there’s far less likelihood of a bloody, wasteful primary. It’s also the kind of thing that gives potential Republican candidates the howling fantods and for the same reason.
The only remaining potential candidate that I’m aware of is State Rep. Vicki Barnett from Farmington Hills. She, apparently, is still in the race (though also undeclared as a candidate), telling the Detroit Free Press this week, “I do speak with Mark regularly,” she said. “But it’s early, I’m pursuing a run and gathering momentum and will continue to do so.”
At this point, nobody has actually declared as a candidate (though my sources tell me Schauer may declare in the next month after the enthusiasm has built to a fever pitch.) Because of that, it’s too early to rule anyone out or anyone in. Still, I doff my chapeau to both Mr. Austin and Mr. Stupak for getting behind a solid candidate and doing what’s in the best interest Democrats in terms of taking back the Governor’s mansion by avoiding an expensive primary, something the Republicans, it’s worth noting, will not have to go through.