Dems Are In The (68th) House

Oct 31, 2012

WKAR's Mark Bashore takes a look at the contest between Andy Schor (D) and Tim Moede (R) in Michigan's 68th House district.

Next week, voters in mid-Michigan's 68th House district will likely send Andy Schor to the capitol.  The young Democrat is a highly-endorsed, 10-year veteran of the Ingham County Board of Commissioners.  He wants to bolster job creation through more support for education and cities.

His opponent, Republican Tim Moede, is a persistent, service-minded conservative intent on advancing recent Republican policy victories.  

There is no debate over the political hue of the 68th.  Visualize deep blue.  Data suggest a roughly 70 to 30 Democrat to Republican breakdown in the district, which covers Lansing Township and much of the city of Lansing.  When asked what is noteworthy about the Schor/Moede faceoff, Inside Michigan Politics editor Bill Ballenger is blunt.

"That it's… over," he says.

But let’s get to know these two guys a little better anyway.

Thirty-seven-year old Andy Schor seems to have the ideal pedigree to represent the 68th.  He’s served for a decade on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners and has held non-elected positions in and around the state legislature for years.  Schor says he wants to create more jobs for working families and bolster public education by getting the GOP-run House to focus less on tax-cutting.

“You can’t do that and at the same time cut the K-12 schools where peoples’ kids are going to go so that they’re not going to go there because they don’t like the schools,” he says. “And you can’t cut the communities and you can’t….you know, there needs to be a balance and right now, that’s not the balance.”

For six years, Schor’s lobbied for Michigan cities with the Michigan Municipal League.

This is Republican Tim Moede’s second straight time atop the ballot in the 68th.  The retired firefighter-paramedic crusades against what he considers unaccountable government spending and--more than anything--government overregulation. 

“The Governor’s already eliminated over 400 regulations,” he says. “And you know, when I’m going door-to-door and walking around and stuff, I haven’t found anybody who’s been affected yet.  So I’m thinking if we can eliminate 400 regulations and nobody knows anything about anything, that means we gotta have thousands of regulations out there. We need to reevaluate all of this stuff.”

The 59-year old has served on numerous disaster-relief and humanitarian missions, including to Mississippi after Katrina, to Guatemala and the Caribbean.   He also laments the decline of religious faith in American life.

When asked about his long-shot bid for office, Moede responds that every election should be a platform to discuss important issues. 

Analyst Bill Ballenger argues that politically lop-sided districts like the 68th may be a detriment to the quality of the legislature.

“You’re gonna find high quality candidates of both parties defeated in many districts around the state by the nominee of the majority party nominee in that district. So there’s arguably going to be less quality representation in those particular districts than there are in others, but that’s just how politics works today.”

Next Tuesday’s winner will replace term-limited Democrat Joan Bauer