This story was changed on May 10 to say that four, not three, candidates will challenge Bernero for the mayor's office. Mary Ann Prince filed to run after the story was published.
Friday, May 10 — Touting $1 billion of new investment and creating thousands of jobs during his two terms as Lansing’s mayor, Virg Bernero started his re-election campaign today.
“I love this job, I love this city, I love our residents and I love the opportunities ahead,” Bernero said in a speech at his East Side campaign headquarters today.
“We set sail with big dreams eight years ago and we’ve never looked back,” he said. “We’ve been through the storm together, my friends, and I’m here to tell you that Lansing is roaring back.”
Bernero said his administration has been responsible for “$1 billion dollars of new investment” since he was elected in 2005. Bernero beat incumbent Mayor Tony Benavides that year, two years after Benavides beat Bernero to fill out former Mayor David Hollister’s term in 2003. Bernero coasted to re-election in 2009 when he beat City Councilwoman Carol Wood.
Bernero was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2010 when he lost to Rick Snyder.
Some other accomplishments Bernero noted included the city’s partnership with the Ingham County Land Bank to combat neighborhood blight; the city’s new Financial Empowerment Center; and investments in the city by General Motors and Jackson National Life Insurance Co.
“We’re on the verge of greatness, I believe it,” Bernero said. “If we can accomplish all these great things during the toughest of times — when other cities basically shut down and waved the white flag — if we can accomplish what we could in the past eight years, just imagine what we can accomplish together as we turn the economic corner.”
Tuesday is the filing deadline for city races this year, which include 4th Ward, 2nd Ward and two At-Large City Council races as well as city clerk. The primary election is Aug. 6, followed by the general on Nov. 5.
Four candidates — Donald A. Krepps, Mary Ann Prince, John L. Boise and Gene Gutierrez-Rodriguez — have also filed in the mayoral race.
Elsewhere on the ballot, Bernero urged voters to support incumbent City Council members Jessica Yorko, Tina Houghton and Kathie Dunbar. Yorko faces three other challengers as of now in Bert Carrier Jr., Chong-Anna Canfora and Larry Hutchinson, according to the City Clerk’s Office. Charles Hoffmeyer is the only candidate to file in the 2nd Ward against Houghton, who has said she is seeking re-election.
Bernero is also supporting At-Large candidate Judi Browne Clarke for the Council. Other At-Large candidates are Ted O’Dell and incumbent Brian Jeffries. The top two At-Large vote getters in November’s General Election win a seat on the Council.
“I’m supporting Kathie and Judi as a team,” Bernero said in an interview after his speech. “(Clarke) seems great, I’ve met her a few times, I know the family. She is a real competitor. She is sharp, articulate and committed to growing Lansing. I think she’ll be a great addition.”