Oct. 14 2015 10:16 AM

Passionate journalist, former candidate for Congress leaves legacy of mentorship

Bonnie Bucqueroux, a political activist and professor of journalism at Michigan State University, has died. She was 70.

The Cleveland native ran for the 8th Congressional District in 2000 as a Green Party nominee. She was challenging Democrat Diane Byrum and Republican Mike Rogers for the seat vacated by Debbie Stabenow. During that campaign she created what is thought to be the first political campaign website in Michigan campaign history.

She was also a beloved adjunct professor of journalism at MSU and publisher of Lansing Online News, a citizen journalism publication which she co-founded Bill Castanier, who is also a City Pulse contributor.

"She was a incredible anomaly," Castanier said, noting that she loved teaching and mentoring students. "She was one of the most vital and talented people I have ever met. One of the things that was most important about her was the love she had for the students."

"I first met Bonnie in 2006 when I was a student in her journalism class; I quickly found that I had made a friend for life," said Ryan Chase Secord, a former student. "Bonnie was funny, engaging, pragmatic and above all inspirational in her teaching method and daily interactions. I will miss our Facebook conversations, and the passion she injected in every cause she took to heart."

Bucqueroux had a great love of tech devices and grew her own food in a hoop house on her Mason property, which she shared with her husband, Drew Howard. She was writing a book about the need to move toward locally grown food.

“This is a terrible loss for the progressive community, the Spartan family and Michigan as a whole. Bonnie was a champion for progress and peace and will be greatly missed,” said Sam Inglot, deputy communications director for Progress Michigan. “Bonnie was a champion for people who could be found in the bitter cold, filming a protest, or asking tough questions of elected officials in the halls of the legislature. Knowing Bonnie, she would not want us to be crippled with grief. There are still those in power who need to be held accountable, oppressed people who need their voices and stories lifted and battles for justice to be fought — that’s how she taught her students and lived her life and that’s how we can best preserve her legacy.”

This is a developing story.