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— Hillary Clinton energized a crowd of roughly 3,000 during a campaign stop designed to boost the party's chances in its most high-profile races.

Clinton, a former secretary of state who's expected to run for president in 2016, appeared with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer and U.S Senate candidate Gary Peters at Oakland University's O'rena.

"No place embodies the dignity of the worker more than Michigan," Clinton said. "Michigan has been at the forefront of forging the 20th century, the industrialized economy and the American middle class. And no people know more about what it takes to get off the mat than you do."

Schauer is challenging Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Peters is vying with former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit. Both appeared alongside Clinton.

Schauer urged voters to get to the polls in what will likely be a low-turnout election. "Today we are dead tied in the polls, and we are on the verge of victory together," he said.

Peters portrayed himself as facing an uphill battle against a better-funded opponent, pointing to the larger sums Land has spent on advertising.

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"We know the amount of money being spent against us ... an unbelievable amount," he said. "We may not have the cash, but we have people power."

Crowds began gathering outside the O'rena athletic facility before 11 a.m. for an event that had been scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. By 2 p.m., more than 200 were on hand.

Port Huron resident Sandy Richardson was among the first to arrive in order to get a seat.

"I appreciate her coming in and trying to help us get our state off the ground," said the mother of six.

Across from the entrance to the O'rena, a dozen protesters gathered in an effort to show Clinton was not universally welcomed.

"We're here to protest her presence on campus — her failed policies," said Michael Banerian, vice president of Oakland University's College Republicans.

jlynch@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2034

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