A pair of Lansing City Council members up for re-election
this November are not flatly ruling out the possibility of running for
the state House of Representatives next year.
Both Derrick Quinney and A’Lynne Robinson face a
competitive re-election road this fall for second terms. Quinney is up
against fellow incumbent Carol Wood, Rory Neuner and Tom Stewart.
Robinson is up against union-backed Jason Wilkes in the 3rd Ward.
But both Quinney and Robinson remain in open circulation
as possibilities for the 68th House District, which will still cover
most of the city of Lansing after the redistricting maps take effect for
the 2012 election cycle. State Rep. Joan Bauer, D-Lansing, cannot run
again because of term limits.
Asked if she will serve all four years of her City Council
term if re-elected, Robinson said, “I’d be elected to a four-year
“So does that mean, yes?” I asked.
“That would be a full intention, yes.”
I then brought up the chatter about her possibly being interested in state representative.
“Right now, I’m worried about City Council. … Where do you guys hear this stuff?” Robinson smiled before hustling off to Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.
When I gave Quinney a shot at the same
“will-you-serve-all-four-years” question, he looked back at me for
several seconds before laughing, “You’re so clever.”
“It’s difficult to say what the future may bring,” he
said. “Opportunities present themselves every day. You got to take them
as they come.”
“So you can’t rule out running for state Rep?” I asked.
“I’m not ruling out that. I’ve been asked about mayor. I’m
not ruling that out, either,” he chuckled before joining Robinson in
What is the best answer to the “are you serving all four
years” question? Politicians are politicians and they understandably
don’t like being painted into a corner. Who knows what the future holds?
But it is frustrating to voters who want certainty from
their candidates. That’s what Mayor Virg Bernero tried to provide by
answering flatly “yes” in 2009 when asked if he planned on serving all
four years if re-elected mayor. And then two months after being
re-elected, then-Lt. Gov. John Cherry jumped out of the gubernatorial
sweepstakes and Bernero jumped in.
Bernero ended up surviving the “political
opportunist” tag (as he always seems to) in the Democratic primary, but
lost to Rick Snyder and is now on track to fill all four years despite
his best efforts.
I don’t know what the best answer is. The fact is both
Quinney and Robinson are not officially in the race right now.
Meanwhile, eager beaver County Commissioner Andy Schor was at my door
Monday evening, making his case to Bridget about his qualifications for
the 68th House seat.
It doesn’t make Schor a lock to win a year from now, but
Quinney and Robinson’s decision to at least secure their City Council
posts before putting to bed the state representative question is giving
Schor a head start on the campaign trail.
Who Was No. 4?
It quickly came to my attention last week that my Top 10
list of most interesting politicians in the last 10 years didn’t include
a No. 4. Why was that?
Let me put this rumor to rest: I can count from 1 to 10. I know, shocking.
No. 4 was former state Rep. Lingg Brewer. During my
personal editing process, I had cut Brewer and was in the process of
moving him to another number, when my eye caught a typo in another
paragraph. I fixed the typo and then realized I was past my deadline,
decided I was fine with leaving Brewer at No. 4 and sent the story for
It was well after the fact that I realized the Brewer
ranking was never re-pasted. Since my original comments on Brewer are
lost forever, I will recreate what I wrote last week and leave it to the
reader to cut and paste them into my Top 10 if they so desire. I,
obviously, failed in my attempt to do so.
4. Lingg Brewer — The cowboy boot-wearing,
convertible-driving former state rep and county clerk made the blocking
of the Bioport sale his final crusade as he was leaving office. Brewer
tried to expose the situation as a sweetheart deal involving parties who
didn’t know an anthrax vaccine from chicken soup.
The sale still went though, and Brewer’s
political career ended shortly thereafter. Then-state Senate primary
opponent Virg Bernero used the condition of landlord Brewer’s rental
properties against him and, after the loss, Brewer opted not to run for
public office again.
(Kyle Melinn is the editor of the MIRS Newsletter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)