Candidates, Write-Ins Prepare for Tuesday's Election

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With four days left until a special election to fill Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero's old State Senate seat, optism is the word of the day for candidates -- even two newly registered write-ins. The "big party" candidates say the work's not over yet.

"We're going door to door," attorney Vince Green said.

"We're going to be knocking doors," State Rep. Gretchen Whitmer said.

Similar plans for for Democratic nominee Whitmer.

"Making phone calls," Whitmer said.

...and Republican nominee Green.

"We're making telephone calls," Green said.

They're vying to represent most of Ingham County in the state senate. The two say the next few days won't be a chance to wind down.

"People might be getting tired of it but it's such an important election," Whitmer said.

"Get our message to the people," Green said.

Green's message?

"Keep the government off our backs. Lower taxes, less regulation," he said.

Green says that plan will yield a better economy. He says education -- and the racial achievement gap -- is another top priority.

Whitmer says her message will be foremost on voters minds come Tuesday.

"I think jobs and the economy and someone who will hit the ground running," Whitmer said.

She says Governor Jennifer Granholm has a solid plan to right the state's economy. Whitmer says the governor just needs more support in the legislature.

But the field voters will choose from Tuesday just got a little wider.

Two write-in candidates have registered. Hopeful recipients of write-in votes have to register in Ingham County for those votes to be counted.

Write-in candidate Vince Dragonetti says recent revelations of Green's back federal taxes conviced him the race needed another fiscal conservative.

"The last four or five days, people keep telling me they have no choice, no choice," Dragonetti said.

Green doesn't see his back taxes as a critical issue.

"People can relate ... it was a financially bad time for my business," he said.

The other registered write-in, Richard Clement, says it's all about the democratic process.

"The political process is to be participated in by everybody," Clement said.

One concern for all the candidates is turnout.

The State Senate contest is the only item on tuesday's ballot.

The 23rd district covers all of Ingham County, except for Mason, Leslie and four townships: Bunker Hill, Leslie, Stockbridge and Vevay.

-- in Lansing, Tony Tagliavia, News 10.