LANSING, Mich. — Lansing Mayor Andy Schor is going into the last few weeks before the election with a significant financial advantage over his opponent Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar and with endorsements ranging from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the Greater Lansing Labor Council.
“I’m very exited to be able to have these conversations and talk to voters about the future of our city and what the next four years should look like,” Schor said.
Schor, 46, and his team are running a campaign that focuses on growth in the city.
“Growth whether it’s in our neighborhoods, whether it’s economic development in jobs, whether it’s housing,” Schor said. “I just want growth for everyone. I’m running on growth for our city. We’re talking about the accomplishments that we’ve had. We’re talking about getting through crisis. It’s been growth for many years, but, once we hit a crisis like the pandemic, we need to figure out how to come through that even stronger.”
Schor’s campaign has raised more than $300,000, Dunbar has raised just over $30,000. But Schor said he believes being personable and getting to know residents will ultimately lead him to victory.
“When you’re running for office, the people want to see you,” said Schor supporter Lorenzo Lopez. “If they see you, they may be promoted to ask you a question or they may voice a concern.”
“He’s just honest, he’s trustworthy, and his heart and dedication is here with the city,” said Schor supporter Marilyn Rogers. “He lives in the city, his family is here, so I think he’s just another one of us.”
Schor has faced criticism about the death of Anthony Hulon in police custody and for responding too slowly to the city's spike in gun violence. In the summer of 2020, he came under fire from Black activists who said he wasn't giving attention to their concerns and he has worked to repair those relationships since.
Some of that criticism continues. A flier put out by Merica 20 to Life, is promoting a contest to write a “Propaganda Schor” song, and the grand prize is $5,000.
“This is not intended to be a diss song, but unfortunately, the things he has done has been devastating to our community,” said Michael Lynn Jr. with Merica 20 to Life. “He may take it as a diss, but that’s not what this is intended to do. This song is supposed to give education to the community about issues that have happened that they don’t even know about.”
Kyle Melinn, editor of the Michigan Information and Research Service, has been covering Lansing politics for over 20 years. He said Schor is a known quantity.
“In the absence of news, people just naturally go to what they're used to, and in this case, they know Andy Schor,” he said
He doesn't think any of the criticisms of Schor's performance will get in the way of him winning a second term.
“I think Schor is going to win with about 65%,” Melinn said. “It will probably be substantial. He was victorious last time by a large margin, and I think he’s done a fine job as mayor, not spectacular, but he’s done okay.”