Lansing -- Moderate Republican Joe Schwarz, a former congressman and state senator, will chair an outreach effort by Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder to coax independents and Democrats to vote for Snyder in the GOP gubernatorial primary.
Schwarz, a Battle Creek physician who considered a run for governor as an independent, will lead a campaign called "Common Sense for Michigan" to mobilize voters who have not traditionally voted in Republican primaries, the Snyder campaign announced Monday.
Snyder, seen as the most moderate candidate in the five-man Republican primary Aug. 3, is hoping to draw independents and crossover votes along with Republicans while his opponents split the conservative vote.
A Detroit News poll taken July 12-14 by the Glengariff Group showed him running a close third behind Attorney General Mike Cox and U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra.
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard and state Sen. Tom George of Kalamazoo also are in the race.
Schwarz said in a statement that Snyder has "unparalleled ability to appeal to a politically diverse state."
Meanwhile, Cox started another TV spot Monday slamming Hoekstra. He criticizes the Holland congressman for missing votes on changes to the health care reform package.
A spokesman for Hoekstra said he missed a few procedural votes but voted against the health care bill.
Also, Democratic candidate and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero was endorsed Monday by the Equality Michigan Action Network, an advocacy group for gays, lesbians, and bisexual and transgender people.
He said the discrimination his gay brother faced before dying of AIDS 20 years ago is one reason he strongly stands up for gay rights.
Bernero is running against House Speaker Andy Dillon of Redford Township.