Mark Schauer says the 2014 election will bring wholesale changes to Michigan's political makeup.
The 52-year-old former one-term congressman hopes he'll be part of the change.
Schauer, from Battle Creek, wants to unseat first-term incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Snyder next year, criticizing the Snyder policies he says have depressed wages, cut revenue sharing and education, taxed individual pensions, and rewarded the state's largest corporations.
"This will be a 'change' election in Michigan," Schauer said late Tuesday afternoon in an interview with The Oakland Press. "The public wants change from Rick Snyder and his party."
Schauer has been making the round since he formally entered the race May 28, visiting 44 of the state's 83 counties, so far.
In his swing through Oakland County Tuesday, he announced the support of Oakland County Democrats on the county commission.
Schauer says the key issue of next year's election will be the state's economy.
"The economy is the central issue," he said in an interview with The Oakland Press.
"Is Rick Snyder's economy working for you?" asks Schauer in what will likely be the theme of his campaign.
Schauer was elected to a two-year term in Congress in 2008, losing the seat to Republican Tim Walberg in 2010.
He was elected to the state House in 1996 and to the state Senate in 2002. He's a former Battle Creek city commissioner.
A late May poll gave Shauer a four-point lead over the governor in a hypothetical matchup.
But a more recent poll of 600 likely voters taken Sept. 12 by EPIC-MRA showed the governor in the lead 44-36 percent.
Snyder's popularity plummeted after a controversial right-to-work law was hustled through the Michigan Legislature and signed last December, though his numbers have recovered somewhat. In promotional videos, Snyder calls the law "freedom-to-work."
Michigan voters face a huge ballot a little over a year from now. They'll vote for U.S. Senate, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, all 148 members of the state House and Senate, members of Congress, some judicial seats and local township offices.