Candidates Talk To Kids, But Reach Their Parents

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

It wasn't your typical campaign audience.

"You are Michigan's future! You're what it's about," Lansing Mayor and gubernatorial hopeful Virg Bernero tells hundreds of children.

"We want you to stay in Michigan," says Republican governor hopeful Rick Snyder.

Snyder and Bernero are doing their best to connect with the crowd of children at the Sandbox Party Thursday.

The kids might not be listening-- but the parents are.

"I want to know where they stand on issues. I want to know how important education is to them," says Amy Teske of Adrian.

"I'm interested to hear how they respond, see if they're interested. This is a priority," says Linda Marley.

"I'm still keeping an open mind," says mom Elissa Gaies of Ann Arbor.

Both candidates know appealing to this group is crucial in getting them elected. If that means speaking in front of hundreds of screaming kids-- that's okay.

"It's important to do," Snyder says. "They're our future, these kids are, and to the degree we can help support parents-- that's what this is all about, building a wonderful \Michigan for the future."

"My wife's a 20-year-plus public educator. I think we've got to continue investing in public education. That is the vehicle our young people will need to build their future," Bernero says.

Their positions on early education don't seem too drastically different. As the campaigns pick up speed, they'll do their best to try and differentiate themselves and their messages. That's starting to happen now. Snyder has picked his Lieutenant Governor, State Rep. Brian Calley. Bernero still hasn't.

"My LG will be part of the solution, not part of the problem," Bernero says.

"I'm here to speak about a positive Michigan," Snyder says.

Bernero tells wilx.com he missed Snyder backstage and didn't get a chance to speak with him.


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