MACKINAC ISLAND (WXYZ) - I can't remember how many Mackinac Conferences I have covered but there's one thing you can always count on with certainty: there will be breaking political news that isn't on the printed schedule. For example, take Snyder vs.Schauer.
It began yesterday when former Michigan Congressman Mark Schauer said he wants to be Michigan's next Governor. He appears to be ready to challenge current Governor Rick Snyder's record on the economy, creating jobs, and education reform.
Snyder has not officially said yet if he will seek reelection in 2014, but most political observers believe he will.
At any rate, the fight will continue today when Schauer brings his campaign to Snyder's backyard, the annual Mackinac Policy Conference, a business-friendly and conservative leaning forum. Schauer believes the middle class has been hurt under Governor Snyder in favor of policies that benefit the corporate community and upper class Michiganders.
Snyder, of course, will argue differently this week at what many believe is the most important business conference in Michigan. Several times he will point to Michigan's economy on the rebound, a budget surplus, and how his administration has taken "relentless positive action" on many fronts.
Other big name Democrats may enter the race in an attempt to unseat Republican Snyder. However, Schauer is the first to toss his hat into that political ring.
A recent poll conducted by Epic MRA shows that a contest between Snyder and Shauer would be very competitive.
We will see.
Election Day 2014 is more than a year away, and in the world of politics, that's a marathon endurance test, not a quick sprint!
One of the key Democrats who won't be jumping on the Schauer bandwagon anytime soon is Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. He has a good relationship with GOP Governor Rick Snyder and says his focus is on making the region stronger.
For now, Hackel doesn't seem to be a bit concerned about engaging himself or his bread and butter, Macomb County, into 2014 gubernatorial race politics.