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Awkward: UAW official praises Democratic candidate for governor while the GOP incumbent listens

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
UAW Regional Director Norwood Jewell praises Democratic gubenatorial candidate Mark Schauer while Republican incumbent Rick Snyder listens

Today’s announcement that General Motors will spend $1.3 billion upgrading plants in Michigan proved to be a little awkward for one of the dignitaries on the dais.

It’s probably not a surprise that Governor Snyder got a few boos from union members in the audience, given that the first anniversary of the governor signing Right to Work into law was just last week.

Perhaps less expected, the Republican governor had to sit and listen as UAW regional director Norwood Jewell praised Snyder’s Democratic opponent in next year’s election.

“Mark Schauer was fighting for those auto loans. Mark Schauer was a 7th district congressman when those loans were done. And Mark has always been there for us,” said Jewell, the governor sitting to his left.  

Then Jewell added, “Mark Schauer is a candidate for governor of this state of Michigan … and we need to think about that also.” 

Jewell’s remarks drew applause from the largely UAW audience.  The governor did not applaud.

Later, a governor's spokesman says Governor Snyder would prefer to focus on the positive today, that being GM's big investment.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.