DETROIT — Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said Wednesday that Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land will be his running mate as he seeks the Republican nomination for governor.
Land, from Byron Center near Grand Rapids, would be part of a team capable of getting to work immediately on problems that include state budget turmoil and job losses across Michigan, Bouchard told reporters.
“I think we all know Lansing’s broken. The budget mess still continues,” he said.
Michigan faces a $2.7 billion deficit that lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm are scrambling to fix by the Oct. 1 deadline for a new budget to be in place.
“Two years ago we had a similar situation, and then up in a midnight hour a budget passing that raised taxes and drove more businesses and more people out of our state,” Bouchard said.
Land had considered her own run for governor but decided not to run in June, the same month Bouchard jumped in.
She said Michigan residents want a plan on how to fix things.
“It’s critical that they know exactly what’s going to be done on day one because there is no time to wait anymore,” Land said.
Granholm can’t seek re-election because of term limits. Lt. Gov. John Cherry, state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith and health care advocate John Freeman are seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nod, and House Speaker Andy Dillon is considering a run.
Republicans facing Bouchard in the 2010 primary are Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, state Sen. Tom George and Tim Rujan, a Huron County emergency medical technician.
Bouchard’s announcement comes a week before a straw poll among Republican activists attending a Sept. 25-27 GOP conference on Mackinac Island.
“It’s disappointing that he’s appointing his lieutenant governor in order to guarantee victory in a straw poll,” Snyder campaign spokesman Jake Suski told The Associated Press. “The timing of this move indicates this campaign is still trying to find traction.”
The Michigan Democratic Party said in a release that a Bouchard-Land team does not “add up.”
“The people of Michigan deserve better than these two,” party Chairman Mark Brewer said. “Two deficient second-tier candidates do not add up to a ticket that helps Michigan.”
Requests for comment were left Wednesday with the Cox Hoekstra, George and Rujan campaigns.