(This story has been updated to say that the 7th Congressional District includes a portion of Genesee County.)
MONDAY, March 20 — Lansing Mayor Andy Schor will not become a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the 7th Congresssional District seat, he announced today, just two weeks after forming an exploratory committee .
“While it would be an honor to serve our residents in Congress, and I’m grateful to have had the conversations about the very important issues of our district, state, and nation," Schor said by email to supporters, "I have decided to suspend any further efforts to explore this campaign in order to focus on our city and my job as Mayor.”
In his original March 2 announcement, Schor painted himself not a "liberal" in an apparent effort to position himself as the best candidate to face the likely Republican nominee, conservative former state Sen. Tom Barrett, who is expected to have significant national funding. In a race that was the most expensive in the nation, Barrett lost by 5% last year to U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who announced she will run instead next year for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Debbie Stabenow.
No other Democrats have announced their candidacy for the nomination to represent the 7th District, which comprises Ingham, Clinton, Shiawassee and Livingston counties and portions of Eaton, Oakland and Genesee counties. Political observers see the district as 50/50 politically without Slotkin, who brought unique credentials to it from holding high-ranking Defense Department positions in both the Bush and Obama administrations as well as two terms of incumbency in the House representing the old 8th Congressional District. The current district was created through redistricting after 2020.
Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, State Sen. Sarah Anthony and State Rep. Julie Brixie have all said they are considering entering the race. State Sen. Sam Singh was mentioned early, after Slotkin’s announcement, but he has said he will not run for the seat. Another politician that observers are watching is former state Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., from East Lansing. After being term-limited in 2022, Hertel joined the Whitmer administration as the governor's chief legislative lobbyist.
Any money Schor raised for the exploratory committee will be returned to the donors, he announced.
Schor said he planned to continue working as mayor full time during his exploratory phase and, if he ran, during his campaign. But the reality of that slog hit hard during this two-week exploratory time, he said in his statement to supporters.
“I have spoken to many people, and have evaluated the time and effort that it will take to continue serving as Mayor and run a successful congressional race at the same time,” he wrote. “17 months is a long time to put total energy into both growing a city and campaigning for Congress throughout 5+ counties.”
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