Chris De Witt: "Over the last several months, hundreds of people have encouraged Lieutenant Governor Cherry to run for Governor. They have cited his record of fighting for people; his ability to lead and manage change; and, his ongoing efforts to bring, keep, and grow jobs in MI, as just a few of the reasons to support him."
"Because of this support, Cherry has authorized that an exploratory committee be created for a possible run for governor. The committee is aptly named “A Whole Lot of People Supporting John Cherry.”
A new Facebook group with the same title has popped up as well - check it out here, and sign up for updates.
As our regular readers know, Lt. Gov. Cherry has done extension work on Great Lakes issues, best summed up in this diary from Nov. 10th - "The Blue Economy - Great Lakes Protection and Michigan's Economic Transformation". He also wrote for us as he toured the Great Lakes last year; you can read those diaries here. (And yes, he wrote those himself, and they are darn good.)
One thing is for sure - this guy has got the chops for the job. He's been involved in Michigan politics for a long time, and amazingly enough he's still sane. From an AP bio (now archived) -
After graduating from the University of Michigan with a political science degree in 1973, he worked for then-state Sen. Gary Corbin of Clio. He later became political director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. His ties to organized labor remain strong today.
He won election to the House in 1982 when a seat opened up in northern Genesee County. He moved to the Senate in 1987, serving as Democratic minority leader from 1995-2002.
State budget director Bob Emerson, who served in the Senate with Cherry and was a groomsman at his wedding, shared a Flint apartment with Cherry in the 1970s when both worked as legislative staffers in Lansing. Other than playing the early video game "Pong" on Atari, Cherry usually spent his time drafting bills.
Emerson teased Cherry that he was the only young guy he knew who frequently listened to all-news WJR radio.
"He always preferred news to anything else," Emerson says. "He was a political junkie from high school on. He loves politics more than anyone I know."
Best of luck, Lt. Governor. Keep us updated!