Updated: Wednesday, 04 Aug 2010, 12:24 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 03 Aug 2010, 5:59 PM EDT
DETROIT (WOOD) - Second-term Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero clinched the Democratic nomination for governor Tuesday night, announcing his victory before supporters at the Atheneum Suite Hotel in downtown Detroit.
Bernero said his opponent, House Speaker Andy Dillon of Redford Township, had called to concede.
In accepting his party's nomination, Bernero said he would side with workers against big corporations and Wall Street -- familiar themes in his primary campaign. He also said education and economic development were key to the state's future and touted his record as mayor.
"I think it means he excites the voters enough to show up," Bernero backer and Kalamazoo County commissioner Brian Johnson said.
Some critics have charged Bernero will be a tougher sell than his opponent in the general election because Bernero can't appeal to moderate voters. But Johnson said Bernero does have that appeal and also can motivate the Democratic base to get out in November.
"Virg Bernero is tough and determined to fight for the things that matter most to Michigan families -- diversifying Michigan's economy, educating our citizens, and protecting people as we move through these tough times," Gov. Jennifer Granholm said in a statement late Tuesday night. "I look forward to working with him to continue moving Michigan forward."
Bernero started his Tuesday by meeting with workers at a GM plant in Lansing, according to the campaign, before voting.
Other stops were set in Detroit and Warren. The Democratic candidate was a state lawmaker and county commissioner prior to serving as mayor beginning in 2006.