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Candidates aim to get out vote

November 1, 2010
By DAVID RUNK Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) - Gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero focused Saturday on get-out-the-vote efforts in heavily Democratic Detroit, while Republican hopeful Rick Snyder rallied supporters seeking to turn a lead in recent polls into a win on Election Day.

Bernero, the Democratic Lansing mayor, started his day in Snyder's hometown of Ann Arbor before stopping in the Detroit suburb of Pontiac for a rally at Monument of Faith Missionary Baptist Church.

''The power is in our hands,'' Bernero told the crowd. ''Let's go out and make it happen.''

But it's Detroit where Bernero and his running mate, Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, were expected to spend most of the weekend. After appearances Saturday aimed at getting voters to the polls, he scheduled a trio of evening stops during the city's annual Angels' Night anti-arson campaign.

Snyder, who held dozens of town hall meetings as a candidate, appeared at his final one of the campaign Saturday morning in Flint before embarking on a series of rallies along a nearly 200-mile route through the northern Lower Peninsula. Running mate state Rep. Brian Calley was with him on the ride.

''Its really critical and it's more than just motivating people to get to the polls, but motivating people to get out there and do the work of the campaign,'' Calley said by phone following a tailgating stop at the Bowling Green-Central Michigan football game in Mount Pleasant.

An EPIC-MRA poll released Thursday showed Snyder leading Bernero 55 percent to 37 percent, with 4 percent backing one of three third-party candidates in the race and 4 percent undecided. Still, the Ann Arbor businessman has urged supporters to take nothing for granted and to help get others to the polls Tuesday.

''I'm going to e-mail everybody on my list to get out and vote,'' said 65-year-old Angela Clement of Oakland County's Commerce Township, who attended a Republican rally Friday at a small airport hangar in Waterford, about 25 miles northwest of Detroit. She described herself as a conservative, not a Republican.

In Pontiac, Bernero supporter Ray Alexander planned to make phone calls and knock on doors to help get voters to the polls in support of the Democrat's candidacy. While the vote itself is important, the 49-year-old said turnout also will effect perceptions of how important Pontiac is to lawmakers.

''If a large number of people aren't voting, we don't get attention,'' said Alexander, of Pontiac, who works with special education students.



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