6A - Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
In concession, Bernero tells
crowd: It wasn't ours to win'
Lansing mayor vows
to keep rooting for
By STEPHANIE BERLIANT
DETROIT - Despite losing the
race for governor to Republican
Rick Snyder, Virg Bernero walked
onto the stage at the MGM Grand
here last night with the "Rocky"
theme song blaring, holding his and
his wife's hands up in the air..
"It was a fight, my friends, worth
fighting, and it was a good fight, but
it wasn't ours to win," Bernero said
just minutes after he got off the
phone with Snyder.
Bernero, the mayor of Lansing
who ran on the Democratic ticket
for governor, had called Snyder to
congratulate him on winning the
race - one of many statewide races
taken by Republicans.
In his concession speech at the
Michigan Democratic Party Coor-
dinated Campaign watch party,
Bernero spoke to many of the issues
his campaign focused on includ-
ing retaining a strong middle class,
freezing tuition and bridging parti-
"We must not root for the failure
of the other side," Bernero said. "We
must root for the success of Michi-
Throughout his campaign, Ber-
nero contrasted himself with his
opponent by focusing on his experi-
ence in public office. With a political
career that stretches back to high
school, Bernero told voters his skills
would be necessary for revitalizing
But unfortunately for Bernero,
voters decided to send Snyder, the
self-described political outsider
who made his name as a business-
man, to Lansing in January.
Bernero's campaign platform was
centered on rebooting Michigan's
economy, with the slogan "Make
Michigan Work Again." During his
campaign, Bernero said, if elect-
ed, his focus would be on making
Michigan the number-one place
in the country to do business. His
campaign promises included bring-
ing jobs to Michigan and creating a
business-friendly tax structure in
Snyder, too, ran his campaign on
the platformof improving Michigan's
economic situation by creating more
jobs and getting rid of the Michigan
Business Tax in order to help busi-
nesses in the state - a move that Ber-
nerohas said he alsosupports.
Bernero also emphasized edu-
cation as a way to spur economic
development. He promised to
increase funding to Michiganpublic
universities, prevent tuition increas-
es and bring back the Michigan
Promise Scholarship - a program
in which 96,000 Michigan college
students received $400 to $5,000 to
go toward funding their education.
The $100-million scholarship pro-
gramwas cutfromthestate's budget
for the 2010 fiscal year.
In his concession speech, Ber-
nero didn't say what his future
political plans hold, but in an Oct. 25
Michigan Daily article, he said if he
lost the race, he would continue as
mayor of Lansing.
LSA sophomores Amre Metwally
and Asra Najam attended the watch
party to support Democratic Sec-
retary of State candidate Jocelyn
Benson, who lost the race to Repub-
lican Ruth Johnson. The pair said
From Page IA
man, a 16-year veteran of the Board
of Regents, and Richner, an 8-year
veteran, each another 8-year term
As of 5 a.m. - when 97 percent of
precincts throughout the state had
reported their results - Newman
had garnered 26 percent of the vote,
while Richner had taken24 percent
of the vote. Meanwhile, as of the
same time, Brown had earned 22
percent of the vote and Stephens
had received 21 percent of the vote.
In an interview last night, New-
man said she was grateful to the
voters of Michigan who had given
her the chance to serve another
term on the Board of Regents.
"I'm thrilled and honored. I
can't wait. I'm looking forward to
it," Newman said. "I'm very appre-
ciative to the voters of the state of
Michigan for giving me this oppor-
tunity and I'm really looking for-
ward to the next eightyears."
And in the next eight years,
Newman said she had big plans to
work with fellow regents and Uni-
versity officials on a wide range of
"We have a lot of changes, a lot
of things coming," she said. "Some-
time in the next eight years, you're
going to see a new president, you're
going to see more dorm renovations
and updates, possibly maybe even
some new dorms, you're going to
see more changes to the campus,
you're going to see more entrepre-
Newman added that she hopes
to see minimal increases, if any, in
tuition over the next several years.
"We hear what people are say-
ing," Newman said. "We get it."
In an interview last night, Rich-
ner said he too was humbled by his
re-election and looked forward to
starting his second term as a Uni-
"It's an honor to have been re-
elected by the voters of the state
to another term on the Board of
Regents, and I'm looking forward
to continuing efforts to improve the
academic standing of the Univer-
sity, while we continue to grapple
with the budget challenges created
by the state's economic situation,"
"We're going to have to continue
focusing on cost-cutting efforts
and looking for alternative revenue
sources," Richner continued.
Richner added that he's "encour-
aged by the change of leadership in
"I think with the new leader-
ship there's hope that we can turn
the state's economy around which
will benefit the University through
increased state appropriations as
state revenues increase," he said.
But Richner was quick to say the
election wasn't just good news for
Republicans, but for all Michigan-
"It's good for the University
community, it's good for the state
and I'm excited about ... the pros-
pect for an economic revival in
Michigan," he said.
In an e-mail interview yester-
day afternoon, Brown told wrote
that he was optimistic about the
race, but admitted he thought the
outcome of the gubernatorial race
would ultimately decide who would
win seats as University regents.
"The key to the success of my
candidacy willbe voter turnout and
the outcome of the races at the top
of the ticket," Brown wrote. "I am
optimistic that my state-wide cam-
paign, the thousands of Michigan
citizens I met throughout the state,
and my message that U of M must
become more affordable, accessible
and an economic driver for every
part of the state, will help turn the
tide of the apparent Republican
success at that top of the ticket."
Newman stressed throughout
her campaign that if re-elected she
would work to continue work on
a wide-range of issues she's been
involved with over her past two
terms - including work to improve
the University's national and inter-
national rankings, University hous-
ing, and facilities at the University
of Michigan Health System.
Virg Bernero at the Michigan Democratic Coordinated Campaign last ni"ht.
they campaigned for Benson for two
months leading up to yesterday's
election. Metwally said he had mixed
feelings about the election results.
"Part of me feels let down, which
is the natural reaction," Metwally
said. " ... (Bernero) and (Democratic
candidate for lieutenant governor)
Brenda (Lawrence) have done great
things, and they'llboth come back."
Najam said Bernero's conces-
sion speech reflected his bipartisan
approach to uniting Michigan.
"It was a very classy speech,"
Najam said. "It's clear he's not parti-
san. He's on Michigan's side."
Throughout the campaign, mul-
tiple polls showed Snyder leading
Bernero by a large margin. It was
reported throughout the gubernato-
rial race that Snyder was favored to
take the seat in large partbecause of
his large personal financial resourc-
es. An Oct. 28 Detroit Free Press/
WXYZ-TV poll showed Bernero
trailing Snyder by 18 points. Despite
what the polls showed, Bernero
remained confident, even yesterday
morning, that his campaign would
When casting his vote yesterday
morning, Bernero told reporters, "I
was outspent four to one, but we're
winning the ground game," accord-
ing to the Detroit Free Press.
In an effort to prevent this Demo-
cratic loss, former President Bill
Clinton appeared in Detroit on Oct.
24 to show his support for Bernero
and to emphasize the importance
of electing Democrats in front of a
crowd of about 500 people. Clinton
did the same for U.S. Congressman
John Dingell (D-Mich.) at a rally on
campus later the same day. Dingell
was re-elected to represent Michi-
gan's 15th Congressional district
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