BY DAVE MEKELBURG
Published November 8, 2006
In a dominating victory over Republican challenger Mike Bouchard, Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow retained her seat in the U.S. Senate.
Stabenow defeated Bouchard, the Oakland County sheriff, by a 16-point margin as of 3:50 a.m. with 96 percent of the precincts reporting.
Late Monday night, Stabenow made one of her final campaign appearances at the Michigan Union with Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
It seems to have paid off. In the predominantly student precincts, Stabenow took 77.94 percent.
"Tonight the people of Michigan chose a race to the top, and that's what we're going to do," she said in her victory speech. "I intend to suit up and go back to work on your behalf."
Education was one of Stabenow's main talking points during the campaign. She railed against President Bush's higher education policies and his proposed cuts to Perkins Loans.
Stabenow has said she would like to reroute money from oil company tax loopholes toward education. She said another way to fund education could be negotiating lower pharmaceutical costs to drive down Medicare expenditures.
Her "Kick Start to College Act" would match funds put away by families for their children's college educations. She also supports increasing Pell Grant funding and gradually making college tuition tax-deductible for families.
Other tenets of her campaign were increased health care coverage and keeping jobs in Michigan. In an interview last month with The Michigan Daily, Stabenow said one of her biggest priorities is enforcing American patents and putting the U.S. markets on equal footing with other countries vying for international trade.
"We are Democrats fighting for the men and women of the middle class of this country, the men and women who want to become the middle class of this country," Stabenow said.