In Michigan
11:18 am
Fri February 26, 2010

Schwarz to decide on bid for governor soon

EAST LANSING, MI –

Former Republican U.S. Representative Joe Schwarz will decide in the coming days if he'll join the Michigan governor's race as an independent.

The Battle Creek physician and former state senator ran for governor once before, when he unsuccessfully challenged Lieutenant Governor Dick Posthumus in the 2002 GOP primary.

Schwarz said Friday during the taping of WKAR-TV's "Off the Record" program that he no longer considers himself a Republican because the party has swung too far right on social issues.

He has until July 15 to declare his candidacy but says he plans to decide if he's running "within the next several days."

Five Republicans are running to replace outgoing Governor Jennifer Granholm. Two Democrats, including Lansing mayor Virg Bernero, are formally in the race and two others are expected to get in.