State School Board Pres. John Austin declines to run for Governor of Michigan, throws his support to Mark Schauer


One more step toward a Schauer gubernatorial candidacy

John Austin speaks to the Ann Arbor Dems earlier this year. Photo by Anne C. Savage

This morning John Austin, President of the Michigan State Board of Education, announced that he will not run for Governor of Michigan, something he has openly shown interest in over the past six months. Instead, he released a statement throwing his support behind yet-to-announce candidate Mark Schauer.

I am excited about a Mark Schauer candidacy, and encourage Democrats and all Michigan citizens to rally around Mark. He is a person of personal integrity and substantive strength. He knows what matters for Michigan and for its people to succeed. In particular, with education the issue most important to Michigan voters, I know Mark is committed to building up our public schools, not tearing them down.

We need to start early, rally around the strongest candidate, and Mark is positioned to run strong, unify Democrats, and win over independents who elected Governor Snyder in 2010. I look forward to forward to helping Mark any way I can, and working with Mark to promote what’s best for Michigan.

This is huge news and suggests that we may be hearing an announcement from Mark Schauer himself soon. With Schauer and Peters at the top of the ticket, perhaps without contested primaries, we would very likely see a very strong turnout by Democrats in 2014 both in terms of getting out the vote and at the polls. A strong Democratic turnout is essential in regaining control of our state government which is being systematically dismantled by ideological extreme corporatist Republicans.

Very exciting, indeed.

Adding… I just want to acknowledge what a terrific Democrat John Austin is. This couldn’t have been an easy decision but it’s the right one for the party, I think, and it’s good to know we have such a terrific Democratic bench in Michigan. He’d make a great Lt. Governor, come to think of it ; )