Brownback Gives Bouchard a Boost in Michigan

Conservative U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback will endorse Michigan Republican Mike Bouchard today, HUMAN EVENTS has learned. Brownback’s backing gives the GOP frontrunner for the U.S. Senate nomination momentum as he seeks to avoid a divisive primary and instead focus his attention on liberal Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

An announcement is planned for today in Michigan. With Brownback on board, Bouchard appears well-positioned to make the case that he’s the candidate for Michigan’s conservative GOP base. In his previous races—including Oakland County sheriff, a position he holds today—Bouchard won the backing of Right to Life of Michigan and the National Rifle Association.

A press release announcing Brownback’s endorsement highlights the senator’s belief that Bouchard is best positioned to take on Stabenow, who in five years has become one of the most liberal U.S. senators—joining with the likes of Senators Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) to advance the Democratic agenda.

Brownback made the following comments:

“The 2006 elections are critical for America. Because he stands for the right things, Mike Bouchard has quickly established himself as the front-runner in the race to become Michigan’s next United State Senator.  He gives Republicans in Michigan their best chance to win in November.”

“As the head of one of the country’s largest law enforcement agencies and a member of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, Sheriff Bouchard fights to secure our nation on a daily basis.  His leadership in the state Senate and his 20 years in law enforcement give him the credentials to make a difference for Michigan and the country from day one.” 

Bouchard must win the August 8 Republican primary in Michigan for the right to fact Stabenow. His opponents are the Rev. Keith Butler, a former Detroit councilman, and Jerry Zandstra, a college professor.

According to a Strategic Vision poll from March, Bouchard held a comfortable lead over his two Republican challengers. However, more than one-quarter of respondents were undecided at the time.

Mike Bouchard 34%
Keith Butler 23%
Jerry Zandstra 15%
Undecided 28%

Bouchard also polled best in a hypothetical match-up with Stabenow, drawing 37% compared to her 48%, according to Strategic Vision. By comparison, Butler and Zandstra polled in the 20s.

Said Bouchard of the endorsement:  “Senator Brownback has a reputation for getting things done and his support will be an asset in our campaign to bring change to Michigan.  His conservative values inspire our party’s grassroots leaders and will motivate Republicans to victory this fall.”