Kenndyesque pose, Bernero announces for mayor
Virg Berneros decision to run for mayor of Lansing took even close
associates by surprise. His legislative aide, Joe McDonald, said he
learned about it on television like everyone else.
Indeed, Bernero said he decided to run on May 5, the day state Rep.
Michael Murphy announced he was not running for mayor.
Daniel Sturm/City Pulse
Sen. Virg Bernero announced his candidacy for mayor of the City
of Lansing on May 12 in the front yard of his South Lansing home
at 6017 Laporte Drive. To Berneros right are his wife, Teri,
and their daughters Virginia and Kelly.
At a press
conference on his front lawn Monday, Bernero said one focus of his campaign
will be neighborhoods.
We really want to send a message that it begins with neighborhoods,
Bernero, 39, who has two children, said. In order to move Lansing
forward, weve got to be a destination point for young families.
Downtown is important, too, he added. For a long time people have
argued downtown vs. neighborhood. The downtown affects the rest of the
city. Weve got to do both.
Why is he willing to give up the relatively safe Senate seat that he
just won last fall? He explained in terms that indicate he is as willing
in this election to exploit the perceived weaknesses of his opponent
as he was in the rough-and-tumble primary election for Senate against
former state Rep. Lingg Brewer.
We cant be put on hold for two years and then look for the
future for Lansing. Weve got to have a vision for the next five
or 10 years today, he said.
individuals who have filed for mayor of Lansing are:
Mayor Tony Benavides,
3337 S. Catherine St., 48911
State Sen. Virg Bernero,
6017 LaPorte Drive, 48911
238 E. Harris St., 48906
Mary Ann Prince,
2116 Ferrol St., 48910
Melissa Sue Robinson,
1121 E. Larned St., 48912
his main opponent, Mayor Tony Benavides, a great guy. Ive
supported him. I count him as a friend. This is going to be a campaign
about vision, about the future of Lansing, about who can lead the city.
Mayor (David) Hollister made historic progress for Lansing. Now
weve got to continue this progress. When GM goes into the New
Year, they dont go with last years models.
He brushed off a question about his lack of executive experience compared
to Benavides, who was president of City Council five times and the executive
director of Cristo Rey Community Center, a multi-million-dollar agency.
I think Ive demonstrated a lot of leadership that is the
kind of leadership that is required, It is about attracting
the best and brightest.
What are his goals for the city? Over the course of the campaign
I will be outline exactly where I think we need to go. Its not
going to be something that I impose on the city, but something that
we develop together. We have a lot of blue ribbon reports, and white
papers, already sitting on the shelf. We need to dust those off and
see what works and what doesnt. Downtown revitalization, absolutely.
Use of our riverfront, absolutely. We need to do more than simply (build)
office complexes along our riverfront.
As for the credibility of his running for mayor after less than six
months in the Senate, he said: Well certainly be tackling
that issue. Im sure that voters will understand. None of us would
have known that Mayor Hollister was going to be chosen by the governor
to run a department. Just as Mayor Hollister planned to serve out his
time, I planned to serve at least four years in the Senate. It would
be far more convenient for me to stay in the Senate. I feel the calling
to run for mayor that I know the City of Lansing needs.
was reported by Daniel Sturm and written by Berl Schwartz.)
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