Gov. Christie stumps for Snyder in Detroit

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Detroit — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stumped for Rick Snyder in Detroit Friday as the Michigan governor seeks another term in office.

Christie, a Republican, met with a group of young professionals who are pioneering work being done in Detroit, such as organizing the weekly Monday night bike ride known as Slow Roll, and creating benches filled with books that are being placed at bus stops around the city.

“It’s exciting to see what you are doing,” Christie said. “I’m glad that you are working with Rick and getting things done here in Detroit in a way that’s positive. That is inspirational for the whole country.”

Christie’s visit was part of a 38-day campaign in states across the country to stump for other Republican governors. Though he was only in Detroit for the day, he said he would be back again and for as many times as Snyder would like him to be.

Asked if he wanted to make any announcement, about a possible presidential run, Christie gave a resounding “no,” saying that he planned to continue campaigning for Republican governors through Nov. 4.

“What I will say is I’m so encouraged by the extraordinary work Rick has done with the Legislature and the private sector,” Christie said. “He had a big challenge when he got here ... and he has just been dogged.”

While meeting with the group at Urban Coffee Co., Snyder said he was really proud of what’s going on in Detroit.

“The city’s coming back,” said Snyder, a Republican who is being challenged in November by Democratic candidate Mark Schauer. “We’ll be out of bankruptcy hopefully in a couple of months ... Good stuff. Stay on the gas.”

Among those who met with the two Republican governors were: Kerry Doman, founder of After 5 Detroit, a website about happenings in Detroit; Austin Black II, broker of City Living Detroit; Kyle Bartell, co-founder of Sit On It Detroit, which builds bus stop benches out of reclaimed wood; and attorney Ethan Dunn.

Black told the governors about his biggest real estate sale yet, a 10,000-square foot mansion in Palmer Woods that he sold to a Toronto couple.

“They want to be part of the city’s revival,” Black said.

Josh Greenwood, co-owner of the coffee shop, said he sees people out around town, running in the morning.

“There’s an energy here we haven’t felt in a long time,” Greenwood said.

Outside the meeting, a group of Democratic protesters demonstrated with signs, chants. One was costumed in an oversized head of Snyder. The protesters questioned the track record of the governor, who’s been in office since 2011.

“Gov. Snyder’s agenda is not working for the people of Michigan,” said Garrett Arwa, executive director of the Michigan Democratic Party. “It seems to only work for the wealthy and the well-connected. Michigan needs a governor that is going to work to hold corporations and special interests accountable, not work with them to betray the public trust.”

But Christie said citizens need to be encouraged by the progress in Detroit.

“What is happening here is really exciting,” Christie said. “People want to be a part of the community.”