Schwarz to explore independent run for MI governor

LANSING, MI – Former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz is taking his possible independent bid for Michigan governor one step further by forming an exploratory committee.

The Battle Creek physician and former Republican state senator said Tuesday he has received "uniformly positive" responses from Democrats, Republicans and independents so far.

He wants to start raising money and poll voters to see where he stands in the race. Five Republicans and four Democrats already are working to replace outgoing Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Schwarz says voters are telling him that an independent with Lansing experience who would stay governor for only four years "might not be a bad idea."

Schwarz left the GOP because he says the party no longer meshed with his moderate views.