Berryman Clearing Path for Fellow Democrat

Posted September 25, 2007 at 10:24am

Democrats continue to catch breaks in the 7th district, where a second potentially strong contender has deferred to state Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer (D) in the race to take on freshman Rep. Tim Walberg (R).

The Associated Press reported Monday that former state Sen. Jim Berryman (D) has told supporters that he is withdrawing from the race because he is worried about splitting the labor vote with Schauer. Earlier this month, attorney David Nacht (D) dropped out of the race and endorsed Schauer.

Schauer, the favorite of national Democratic leaders, would now appear to have a clear path to Walberg, who won a contentious Republican primary last year and then limped to victory in November, despite the slight GOP lean of the Battle Creek-based district. Organic farmer Sharon Renier, the Democratic nominee in 2004 and 2006, remains in the race.

Former Rep. Joe Schwarz (R), who was ousted by the more conservative Walberg in the primary last year, has yet to rule out the possibility of running again, either as a Democrat or as a Republican.

— Josh Kurtz