DENNIS ARCHER, the former mayor of Detroit, has led many major efforts in Southeast Michigan, is an accomplished lawyer, former president of the American Bar Association and public policy thinker. Despite his earlier expression of not being interested in running for governor, his supporters say Archer has an appeal that cuts across the business community in the region. At a time when the Dems are in such political dire straits, they can make use of him.
HARVEY HOLLINS, vice president of government affairs at Wayne State University, is considered a good candidate for the Democratic ticket because of the educational crisis the state is facing. Hollins’ supporters believe an education leader with an extensive knowledge of government and how the legislative process works will be an advantage for the ticket to address the myriad of issues that are forcing graduates to leave the Wolverine state.
HANSEN CLARKE, a state senator from Detroit, is no stranger to politics in the city and in Lansing. Clarke is admired for his boldness and aggressive attitude toward what government ought to do for the least of these. Those who back his candidacy for the ticket think that he can make a strong push for reform.
ALBERTA TINSLEY-TALABI, a veteran of the Detroit City Council, has experience in municipal government that can add a strong impetus to the ticket given the problems that cities across the state are facing. As a former member of the city council, Tinsley-Talabi’s supporters see a strong Detroit connection on the ticket if she is selected.
ALMA WHEELER SMITH, state representative, is a veteran of the Michigan legislature who is actually running for governor in 2010. She brings an enormous amount of legislative experience and understanding of inside Lansing politics that few have, according to those who support her. They believe she will be a tireless advocate for those who are most needy.
DENISE LANFORD MORRIS has served as a circuit court judge in Oakland County since 1992, the first African American elected to the bench there. Because of her stellar legal background mixed with community advocacy, Morris’ name has been tossed around for the Michigan Supreme Court. Her supporters also said she will make a great addition to the Democratic gubernatorial ticket because of her wide appeal in Oakland County combined with her strong Detroit roots.
BRENDA LAWRENCE, the current and first African-American mayor of Southfield, will be an interesting candidate on the ticket given the geographical proximity of Southfield in Southeast Michigan as a hub for business. Lawrence on the Democratic ticket could place the future of businesses at the center of the gubernatorial race. She is a go-getter, as her supporters reminded me. After being fired up from the Obama change energy, she took on the Republican darling, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, in 2008 and made an impressive showing.
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