Mayor's Race Heats Up

By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

Carol Wood gets an important endorsement this week in her bid to unseat Virg Bernero.

Usually political endorsements are about as exciting as an insurance seminar and as about as important to a campaign as what food you're serving at the victory party.  But Tuesday, City Councilwoman Carol Wood picked up an interesting backer as she tries to bump "America's Angriest Mayor"* from office. 

Reverend Michael Murphy, former State Representative who once ran for mayor of Lansing, is endorsing Wood.  This comes after Charles Ford endorsed Bernero after getting beaten by he and Wood in the primary.  Both men are leaders in the black community in Lansing.  Ford is on the Lansing School Board and once served on City Council and is also in the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame.  Murphy started St. Stephen's in Lansing and recently moved to Washington to preach at Barack Obama's church.  He still has his finger on the religious pulse of the Lansing community.

So, who can garner the most support?  That's a very interesting question because just about everyone who thinks highly of one, likely thinks highly of the other.  On its face, it would seem Murphy is the bigger catch, giving Wood the edge here.  But, Murphy is usually in D.C. and probably won't do any campaigning for Wood.  Ford, on the other hand, is in Lansing and could show up at some rallies and such.

Going back to my original point, endorsements aren't that big of a deal and I stick to that theory in this situation.  The only reason this is significant is it shows Lansing that Carol Wood isn't going to roll over and just give the election to the incumbent who was a staple on national television appearing just about every five minutes during GM's impending bankruptcy.  At the time, it seemed like a precursor to a lock-cinch re-election in November, but Wood's primary showing was formidable and now Murphy's support shows she can get big name backing. 

It'll be interesting to see where the campaigns go from here and what happens election night.

*CNN's John Roberts likes to refer to Bernero this way.

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