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Midland's Bill Schuette, Attorney General Candidate Leads Straw Polling

Schuette Initiated Food Drive Raises Bonanza to Feed Needy During Holidays

December 8, 2009       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Bill Schuette, candidate for Michigan attorney general, announces candidacy on Michigan Public Radio.

As you sow, so shall you reap, the Biblical proverb proclaims.

Midland attorney Bill Schuette and his wife Cynthia, when he was director of the Michigan Agriculture Department in 1991, started a food drive named Harvest Gathering.

Since then the drive has raised more than $6.6 million and a cornucopia of almost 5,000 tons of food for the needy.

This year the drive was needed more than ever and, with an assist from Michigan State University, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and the Mid-Michigan Red Cross garnered 230,000 pounds of food and about $580,000.

In a "tackle hunger" promotion, food was collected outside Spartan Stadium before and during the MSU-Penn State football game. A large Meijer, Inc. semi-truck was parked right outside Gate Six at Spartan Stadium along with a Michigan Harvest Gathering billboard and an over-sized inflated figure of Uncle Sam. Volunteers from the Mid-Michigan Red Cross among others were on hand to accept the food and put it in the truck.

Food gathered for Michigan Harvest Gathering is distributed to food banks, soup kitchens, and food pantries throughout all Michigan's 83 counties.

For further information on the Michigan Harvest Gathering, go to or call Sara Lee Howard, Michigan Department of Agriculture, at (517) 241-2669.

Schuette, 56, most recently, served as judge on Michigan's 4th District Court of Appeals 2003-2009. He is currently a Republican candidate for Michigan attorney general.

A Republican straw poll taken recently in Oakland County showed Schuette leading another Republican candidate for attorney general, Mike Bishop, of Rochester, 360 to 247 in Bishop's own 9th District. Schuette also topped a poll taken by a Grand Rapids television station.

Schuette, Bishop and State Sen. Bruce Patterson, of Canton, all GOP hopefuls for AG, are in a run-up to the August, 2010 primary election.

The only Democratic candidate on the horizon is State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, 38, East Lansing, who aggressively challenged current AG Mike Cox several months ago, alleging failure to act on mortgage fraud cases. Cox is now a candidate for governor on the Republican ticket but is still taking political heat for inaction on the Kwame Kirkpatrick scandal and alleged murders in that connection -- criticism that is expected to escalate as the campaign accelerates and threatens Cox's veracity.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, with former GOP Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land as running mate, are winning most of the straw polls both on the Republican side and overall. Lt. Gov. John Cherry is the leading Democratic candidate while Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith, D-Ann Arbor, is a distant second.

Schuette was born in Midland, Michigan, where he graduated from Herbert Henry Dow High School in 1972. He attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and in 1976 graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in the Foreign Service. He also studied at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1979. Schuette was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1979.

In November 1984, at the age of 31, Schuette was elected as a Republican defeating incumbent Democrat Donald J. Albosta for a seat in the 99th United States Congress from Michigan's 10th congressional district. Schuette was re-elected to the two succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1985 until January 3, 1991. He did not seek re-election in 1990, but unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Democrat Carl Levin for his seat in the United States Senate.

While in Congress, Schuette served on the House Budget Committee, the House Agriculture Committee and the House Select Committee on Aging.

In January 1991, Schuette was named by Michigan Governor John Engler to be as Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture, where he served until 1993.

In November 1994, he was elected to represent the 35th district in the Michigan State Senate, where he served until 2003. In 2001, Schuette was selected by President George W. Bush to be his Personal Representative to Australian-American Friendship Week in Australia. In November 2002, he was elected judge in the Michigan Court of Appeals, and his term expired January 1, 2009.

Schuette is now an attorney in the law firm of Warner, Norcross & Judd. Warner, Norcross & Judd is one of Michigan's largest law firms, with offices in Sterling Heights, Southfield, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Holland and Muskegon.


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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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