Bishop wins 8th Congressional District

By Lauren Abdel-Razzaq
The Detroit News
Republican candidate Mike Bishop smiles as supporters celebrate his early results success at his election night party at Brewery Becker in Brighton.

Former State Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop defeated Democratic challenger Eric Schertzing for the 8th Congressional District.

"I want to thank everybody," Bishop said. "This has been an incredible experience from day one.

"I've had the opportunity to throw my hat in the ring and really make a run at this and because of people like you who have stepped up and believed in us, today is the day, now is the moment."

Bishop was favored to win the seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, partly because the district has historically leaned Republican. Schertzing has served as Ingham County treasurer for the last 14 years and created the county's land bank.

Schertzing, who met with family, friends and supporters at the Pizza House in East Lansing, congratulated Bishop. He also said he looks forward to continuing his work Ingham County.

"The campaign provides me with all sorts of new experiences to help serve the citizens of Ingham County even better," he said. "I'm looking forward to a lot of new ideas that were brought up and that I've had over the course of the campaign."

Analysts said Bishop, who served as a state representative from 1998 and 2002 and a state senator until 2010, was more successful at fundraising and gathering support from the party's base.

Bishop raised about $939,000 to Schertzing's $401,000 through Oct. 15, according to Federal Elections Commission filings. From the end of September to Oct. 15, the Republican outraised Schertzing $107,000 to about $50,000.

Voter Paul Cirenza of Brighton said Bishop's policies most closely match his own.

"The big concerns for me are the border, the economy and the president bypassing Congress," he said. "(Bishop) is the choice for me."

David Collins of Brighton said he voted for Schertzing after careful consideration.

"I read up on him and he seems like an honest guy with an honest upbringing," he said. "If he can look out for the people and balance the budget, that would be great."

Rogers, R-Howell, shocked GOP leaders this year by forgoing a bid for another term to pursue a career in syndicated radio. Schertzing, a Democrat from East Lansing, has tried to make the race competitive by focusing on pocketbook issues such as preserving Social Security. Bishop contends the Social Security system is unsustainable because it is projected to start running in deficit.

Schertzing has criticized Bishop for participating in two state government shutdowns during his time with the state Senate and for comments he made about not supporting the auto company bailout. Republicans have blamed then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm for the inability to agree on a balanced budget on time.

Bishop's campaign has trumpeted his backing of legislation to protect children, such as an Amber Alert system, that most legislators also supported.

Also running are James Weeks II with the Libertarian Party, Jim Casha with the Green Party and Jeremy Burgess with the Natural Law Party.

(313) 222-2127