Tina Houghton is in her eighth year representing Lansing’s second ward on the city council, and she’s running for a third term.
We speak with Houghton about the criticism that she’s too close to mayor Virg Bernero, and that she has focused on downtown Lansing and the Michigan Avenue corridor at the expense of the second ward. She says that's a valid criticism, especially for people who aren't "in the trenches." Houghton continues that "downtown is where the heart of the city is, where the most traffic is, where millions of people come in and out of the city every year. I thought it was important to do that, and now it's our turn."
Houghton expresses frustration with being pigeon-holed as being in "the Virg camp" backing Mayor Virg Bernero. "Regardless of who is in that office," she explains, "I respect that office. I am not going to go publicly against the mayor of our city. I'm looking forward to whoever it is (serving as mayor next year)."
She says she and Bernero have been friends for more than 25 years, and that when they have disagreed, it has been behind closed doors.
Houghton hasn't decided if she will make an endorsement in the mayor's race.