Incumbent Schor facing different type of campaign

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By Nick Barnowski
Lansing Township News

Listen to an interview clip with Rep. Schor by clicking here.

While some candidates ramping up their campaigns under pressure to secure votes, state Rep. Andy Schor is calm and collected ahead of the Nov. 4 general election.

The Democrat, who represents Michigan’s 68th District, which covers parts of Lansing and Lansing Township in Ingham County, said running as an incumbent relives some of the pressure he faced when running for an open seat two years ago.

“I think it’s easier,” Schor said. “People know what I’ve done and they know the legislation that I’ve pushed.”

The Lansing native assumed office following the 2012 general election after then-representative Joan Bauer decided to not seek re-election. Schor received 43.2 percent of the vote in the 2012 primary en route to becoming the representative.

In this past August primary election, Schor ran as the only Democrat and received nearly 3,500 more votes than Rob Secaur, the Republican challenger. Secaur ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

Schor said that while the campaign has been extremely busy, he has “no complaints.”

“With candidate forums, knocking on doors, and the legislative session just ending, it’s been busy, but it’s been going well,” he said. “My constituents are pretty supportive.”

The biggest difference Schor has noticed between running as a challenger and as an incumbent is that he can run on his previous record and not on what he plans to do.

“I can stand by my record rather than what I’ve wanted to do,” he said. “It’s different. You’re spending just as much time talking to constituents, but I have a record that I can run on.”

Lansing Township native Gerald Smith said that regardless the candidate, it is easier to vote for them if they have a proven track record.

“It helps to know and see what they’ve done in the past in the position,” said Smith, 36. “In general there’s always some kind of skepticism about voting based on what someone says they’re going to do.”

Michigan State political science student Nick Tazzioli said that while incumbents normally have an advantage at the polls, managing both a campaign and their legislative activities creates a unique challenge.

“Regardless of political party, candidates have to be working on their campaigns and their day jobs at the same time, and I respect that,” said Tazzioli, a senior. “I think everyone gets tired of political advertising at some point but their time management has to be impressive.”

Schor, a Lansing native, said he budgets his time between his family, job, and campaign.

The Michigan House of Representatives is out of session for October, giving Schor more time to focus on his campaign, but day-to-day requirements still have to be met. He said that while in session he spent more time working on legislation than his campaign.

“I’m still doing that, but I’m in my office every day working on responses to constituents, working on bills,” Schor said. “I can take time in the afternoons to go and knock on doors and talk to folks and I can do things after work.”

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