Outside Influence in Michigan?

Roll Call reports today (no link, but I’ve pasted the intro below) that former state Sen. and current Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard is reconsidering his decision NOT to challenge liberal Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D.) next year.

This race was one I mentioned in an earlier posting about 2006 being the Year of the Black Republican. The Rev. Keith Butler recently visited HUMAN EVENTS, and seemed to be an incredibly competent and well-versed candidate.

Now it appears, according to Roll Call, that the national GOP might be meddling in Michigan politics. Whatever the case may be, it’s going to be an uphill campaign to knock off Stabenow, but with the right person hammering away at her liberal positions, it could be done.

Sheriff’s On His Way; GOP Still Searching in Michigan

By Nicole Duran,
Roll Call Staff

The Republican Senate field in Michigan is expected to get more crowded this week but whether that is good for the party is being debated by GOP strategists.

It also could have implications for national Republicans’ ongoing efforts to appeal to black voters.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) is reconsidering his February decision to not challenge Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) next year.

He got into the race last winter only to jettison his campaign because of unspecified health concerns.

Bouchard was in Washington, D.C., Monday, meeting with National Republican Senatorial Committee officials and other Republican leaders to discuss the possibility of rejoining the race. Bouchard said he has dealt with his health problems, which he described as non-life-threatening issues involving high blood pressure and cholesterol, and plans to make a decision “within a week.”

Bouchard said he received “very positive feedback” from national Republican leaders and that he gave the race another look after supporters back home in Oakland County, a large, affluent suburb outside of Detroit, asked him to reconsider.

As to whether the NRSC or other national party officials recruited him, Bouchard would only say: “They all have been very supportive — whether they called me first or I called them is not really relevant.”

The issue may become relevant, however, as two Republicans were already vying for the nomination when Bouchard began having second thoughts.

Keith Butler, a Christian minister and one-term Detroit city councilman, has been the frontrunner against Jerry Zandstra, a minister who is on leave from his job with a Western Michigan think tank.

Butler has assembled an impressive list of endorsements and collected $1.4 million since launching his campaign early this year.