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Bernero to join Democratic race

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is expected to join the race for governor Monday with a three-city tour to announce he is seeking the Democratic nomination.

The Lansing mayor formed an exploratory committee last month after Lieutenant Governor John Cherry ended his bid to succeed Governor Granholm.

Bernero is a former legislator who has been a harsh critic of state budget cuts to local governments and Medicaid. Bernero has scheduled stops today in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing, and is expected to join a Democratic field that is still taking shape.

State Representative Alma Wheeler Smith is the only other Democrat openly seeking the nomination.House Speaker Andy Dillon says he will announce his plans before the end of the month. And former state Treasurer Bob Bowman, Denise Illitch of the Little Caesar's Pizza family, and former Genesee County Treasurer Dan Kildee are among those who may still jump into the race.

There are five Republicans seeking the GOP nomination.

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