Local Candidates Canvass Before Election

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He has a comfortable lead in the polls by all accounts, but Mayor Virg Bernero was still out in southwest Lansing Sunday. With an armful of fliers, Bernero walked quickly between houses, knocking on doors, handing out promotional materials and talking to potential voters.

"You have to ask for the vote; you never take it for granted," said Bernero, who is seeking his third term in office. "I always say to people I'm here to reapply for my job and a lot of times they smile or chuckle at that, but you know how else do I reapply for my job? I mean I have to reapply just like everyone else. It's not a given."

Bernero was also out to campaign for what he's calling "The Lansing Jobs Team," a collection of endorsed by both the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and the United Auto Workers union.

"I'm out for myself and the entire team," Bernero said. "If I were to win without my team, it would be a hollow victory in many respects, because it will really crimp my ability to do my job. That's why I'm so adamant that I need my team."

Across town, City Council At-Large Candidate Judi Brown Clarke used a team of volunteers to pass out fliers of her own.

Brown Clarke finished a close third in the August primary and is hoping her campaign efforts can push her one notch higher come Tuesday.

"[The primary is] called the semifinals and the finals is where it counts," she said. "We've done a lot of work. We've knocked on over 6,500 doors collectively and so I hope that paid off and people can really see what I can bring and my skill set and talents and love for the city."

Brown Clarke said the canvassing was a way to burn off some of the extra pre-election energy while extending a more personal campaign pitch to voters she says are overwhelmed with campaign literature.

"It's just kind of a courtesy," she said. "Just a gentle reminder to answer any questions they may have before they make their final decisions."

In the Moores Park neighborhood, Fourth Ward Candidate Chong-Anna Canfora targeted her supporters and the undecided voters Sunday.

"We need to reach out to people who are still undecided who haven't gotten off the fence yet on who they're supporting," she said, adding it was important to remind supporters of polling times and locations. "Even if you are an incumbent but definitely if you are a challenger, you've gotta get out there, you've gotta show that you've got energy, that you're willing to really work for it and that you really need folks vote."

There were, however, candidates who chose not to actively campaign Sunday.

Charles Hoffmeyer, a candidate for the City Council's Second Ward seat said he was answering voters' questions personally instead of knocking on doors.

"Personally, I am tired of the misinformation and attack advertising that I have received in mail in the last two weeks; I do not want to add to the frustration my neighbors experience every election year," Hoffmeyer said by email. "If any voter has not yet determined who they are going to vote for, I hope that they will obtain information from authoritative sources over the next few days and form their own determination on who would best represent their viewpoints and address their concerns."

Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and close at 8 p.m.

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