Mark Schauer for Governor

Who am I?

I am a lifelong fighter for Michigan workers, families, and businesses. Throughout my career in public service, I have fought for quality schools, healthy communities, better job training, and an economy that works for everyone.

I was born and raised in Howell, Michigan. My dad was a high school science teacher, and my mom a nurse.

After earning my degree from Albion College, I pursued a career in community service in Battle Creek. I ran the Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan, where I worked to deliver critical programs for seniors and children, like Meals on Wheels and Head Start.

I served on the Battle Creek City Commission from 1994-1996. I won my first race for the Michigan House of Representatives by defeating an incumbent in 1996, and was re-elected in 1998 and 2000. In 2002, I won a competitive open race for State Senate, and was re-elected in 2006.

I was elected to represent Michigan’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008, defeating incumbent Tim Walberg. In Congress, I was instrumental in rescuing the auto industry, saving jobs across our state.

My wife Christine and I live in Battle Creek, and have five grandchildren.

Why am I running?

I’m running for Governor because I believe Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has the wrong priorities for Michigan – cutting corporate taxes by $1.8 billion while cutting public schools and state universities, and raising taxes on retiree pensions. Snyder’s economic policies are failing Michigan and not creating the jobs he promised. Michigan has the nation’s third worst unemployment rate, and was ranked as the 47th worst business climate in the nation to attract jobs. It’s clear Snyder’s policies of cutting corporate taxes, cutting education funding, and breaking unions aren’t working, and aren’t getting anyone back to work.

Instead of handing out tax breaks to big corporations without any guarantee of jobs, I will invest in our state’s highly-skilled workers and small businesses so that they can compete for the jobs of today, and I’ll invest in education so that our children can compete for the jobs of tomorrow. My goal is to build a Michigan that works for everyone – not just the wealthy and the well-connected.

My Goals

1. Improving Education – As the son of a teacher, I’ve always viewed education as the key to opportunity. As Governor, I will reverse the devastating public school budget cuts that are hurting our children, and I will make education a top priority, so we can give our kids a better future. To build a strong economy, we need great schools to compete for 21st Century jobs.

2. Raising the Minimum Wage – I have announced a plan to increase Michigan’s minimum wage to $9.25 over three years, and tie it to inflation so wages keep pace with rising costs for things like gas, groceries, and school supplies. This will lift the wages of over 1 million Michigan workers, and increase demand for Michigan small businesses.

3. Repealing the Snyder Pension Tax – I’ve always fought to protect Michigan seniors. In Congress, I was a fierce advocate for Social Security and Medicare, and as Governor, I’ll work to repeal the job-killing Snyder Pension Tax. This unfair tax is taking thousands of dollars out of the pockets of retirees every year to help pay for a $1.8 billion tax cut for corporate special interests. That means seniors living on a fixed income have less to spend on everyday necessities like gas, groceries, and prescription drugs. As Governor, I will always fight to protect our seniors and their hard-earned retirement savings.

My DFA Values

Community: Throughout my career, I have been a relentless fighter for Michigan women, families, workers, and businesses. I ran the Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan, where I was responsible for early childhood education programs, self-sufficiency programs for women, food and utility assistance, and senior services. I also worked for Community Mental Health, coordinating services for at-risk kids and families. As Governor, I will make education a top priority so we give our kids a better future.

Security: In the State Senate, I voted for a resolution opposing President Bush’s war with Iraq, and in Congress, I worked to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by voting to invest in clean, renewable energy resources. As Governor, I will work to make Michigan a global leader in advanced manufacturing and renewable energy production.

Liberty: In order to build a talented workforce and compete for good-paying jobs, Michigan needs to be a more welcoming and inclusive state. That’s why in Congress I fought to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and expand access to basic health care services and cancer screenings for women. As Governor, I will continue to defend women’s reproductive rights. I also support legislation to strengthen Michigan’s Civil Rights Act by protecting LGBT citizens from discrimination, and I support marriage equality. I am committed to building a stronger Michigan for everyone.

My Campaign is People Powered!

Strong Support from Labor and Progressive Groups: Our campaign has strong support from labor and progressive organizations. We have been endorsed by the Michigan Education Association, the Michigan Nurses Association, Teamsters Joint Council 43, the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council, Michigan Good Guys (which supports pro-choice men), and Sierra Club Michigan Chapter.

Strong Netroots Support: We have strong relationships with Michigan’s top progressive blogging communities, Eclectablog and Michigan Liberal. Our campaign works proactively with these sites to drive a broader message to the progressive grassroots in Michigan.

Looking Ahead: Our organizing team will continue to expand our grassroots outreach to progressive constituencies over the coming weeks and months, including: African Americans, women, LGBT, faith, environmental, education, and young professionals.

Voice support


  • Su Vernon
  • Shirley Murphy
  • Antonio DeBellis
  • Rhonda Carr
  • Emily Everett, MI
  • Susan Aderman
  • William Peavy
  • Brittany Myers
  • Charles Loelius, NJ
  • Brandt Mccool, KY
...and 239 more.

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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