Former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz says he hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he’ll leave the Republican Party to become a Democratic candidate for Congress in southern Michigan’s 7th District.
But he sure is acting like his mind is made up.
Schwarz will be the featured speaker at an Eaton County Democrats meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Charlotte Library.
An email notice about the meeting sent out Friday to Democratic voters in Eaton County made it sound like Schwarz might be launching a campaign to oust U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg from office.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to talk with him and hear his plans,” the email said.
The Eaton County Democrats’ Twitter page also said Schwarz would make “an important announcement.”
Schwarz said Sunday the author of the email and tweet got “a little over exuberant” about the purpose of his visit.
“She sent out kind of an all points bulletin but that’s not going to be the announcement,” Schwarz told The Detroit News.
Schwarz served one term in the U.S. House from 2005-2007 after winning a crowded six-man Republican primary in 2004, which included Walberg, R-Tipton. In 2006, Walberg beat Schwarz in a one-on-one primary and the two have been political enemies since.
Democrats have been trying to draft Schwarz since the Republican-controlled Legislature made the district more favorable to the GOP by eliminating Schwarz’s Calhoun County and adding Monroe County during the redistricting process last year.
Schwarz said his decision on whether he’ll run could come as early as Thursday this week. But the 74-year-old physician says he’s still trying to sort out how he would balance being a candidate for Congress with his Battle Creek medical practice and teaching duties at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
There’s another factor at play, he said.
“You’ve got to know who’s in and who’s out,” Schwarz told The News.