Gary Peters: Future Democratic gubernatorial candidate?

U.S. Representative and former CMU Griffin Endowed Chair in American Government Gary Peters is seen as one of the Democratic frontrunners to challenge Gov. Rick Snyder in 2014, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Peters is listed alongside five other Democrats thought of as favorites to win the 2014 Democratic nomination for governor.

"Former naval officer, state lawmaker and lawyer, Peters has a good résumé and is a skilled politician," Free Press reporter Dawson Bell wrote last weekend. "But he's also got a secure job for at least the next 10 years."

Peters' office did not directly comment on the proposition of running for governor, but released the following statement Tuesday to Central Michigan Life:

“Congressman Peters is focused on serving the families of Greater Detroit by working to attract new job-creating economic development opportunities to our region," said Jared Smith, Peters' communications director.

The other Democrats on the list comprise of state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, former U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, University of Michigan Regent Denise Illitch and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.

Bernero was the 2010 Democratic nominee and was soundly defeated by Snyder, losing 58.1 percent to 39.9 percent.

Peters served as the CMU Griffin Endowed Chair from 2007 to 2008 after spending two terms as state senator from 1995 to 2002.

He was elected to his third term as U.S. representative last week, easily winning in the new, heavily-Democratic 14th District, encompassing much of Detroit and part of Oakland County.

Following re-districting last year, Peters' 9th District was merged with the 12th District, represented by fellow Democrat Sander Levin. The new 9th District, however, resembled Levin's former district more than his, so he instead opted to run in the 14th District, which contains much of his old district.

Peters defeated Rep. Hansen Clarke and Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence in the Democratic primary. After winning election last week, Peters will become the first white representative to represent a part of Detroit in Congress since 1993.

“By bringing together a diverse coalition of supporters, we've won the race for the new 14th Congressional District and now it's time to begin a new chapter of partnership and cooperation throughout the Greater Detroit region,” Peters said in a statement following his win. “There's a lot more that unites us than divides us, and that's why I'm looking forward to bringing together leaders from across our community to develop solutions to the regional challenges all of us face."

Peters also served as state lottery commissioner from 2003 to 2007.


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