Advance Notice: Briefs

Republican Bouchard won’t run for Oakland County executive

By: - November 19, 2019 8:32 pm

Mike Bouchard | Wikimedia Commons

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, long considered Republicans’ strongest potential county executive candidate, announced Tuesday he will not run for the job in 2020.

Longtime Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, a Republican, died in August. Democrat Dave Coulter, the mayor of Ferndale, was appointed his replacement by the Oakland County Commission. Coulter and county Treasurer Andy Meisner, also a Democrat, have both said they’re running in 2020.

Oakland County used to be a GOP stronghold with Patterson as a larger-than-life figure at the helm since 1992. However, the wealthy Southeast Michigan county has trended blue in the last two decades, with Democrats now controlling the county commission. Bouchard is the lone Republican in an executive position.

“My focus, first and foremost, has always been to keep Oakland County safe,” Bouchard said in a statement first reported by the Oakland Press. “The Sheriff’s Office has had a number of senior leaders retire and will be experiencing additional retirements soon. I feel it is incumbent upon myself to ensure stability in the agency and to focus my efforts in managing the agency into a new era of leadership.”


Bouchard, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2010, has served as sheriff for 20 years. He’s a former state senator who also lost his 2006 U.S. Senate bid.

In January, Bouchard attended a bill signing for human trafficking legislation with President Donald Trump in Washington, as the Advance reported. Bouchard said he spoke with U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr about priorities for large county sheriffs.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.