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Posted on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

Ouimet, Driskell pouring campaign money into 52nd District race for State House

By Amy Biolchini

Related story: Washtenaw County's top fund-raisers for the 2012 election cycle bring in big money

Both incumbent Mark Ouimet, R-Scio Township, and his Democratic opponent Gretchen Driskell, are pouring campaign money into their races for the 52nd District seat in the Michigan House of Representatives as the November election nears.

Ouimet has raised $382,082 in direct donations and in-kind contributions to his campaign, compared to Driskell’s $180,104 as of Friday’s pre-general election campaign finance reporting deadline.


Gretchen Driskell and Mark Ouimet at a candidate forum this fall.

Melanie Maxwell I

For Ouimet, that’s about 28 percent more than he raised in 2010 when he was first running for the House seat against Democrat Christine Green. Among all of the candidates running for the Michigan House, Ouimet is one of the leading campaign fundraisers.

Driskell, longtime mayor of Saline, has been able to raise $95,110 since the August primary election — about $1,000 more than Ouimet was able to pull in during that same time frame. Driskell also has more cash on hand — $92,810.29 — to use in the final week before the election, and has no debts owed.

Even though Ouimet has been able to raise $94,194 since the August primary, his extensive campaign expenditures have left him with $77,256.79 cash on hand with seven business days until the election. Ouimet also is carrying $74,461.99 of debt on his ledger.

The race has become heated in the weeks leading up to the election as the Michigan Republicans in the House fight to keep their majority.

Ouimet’s campaign is pouring money into advertising as the November general election nears; campaign finance reports indicate bills for printing, signs and billboards.

Reports also show almost weekly payouts of $15,000 to Marketing Resource Group Inc., in Lansing — a firm that handles the advertising campaigns for the Republican majorities in the Michigan legislature.

Additionally, Gov. Rick Snyder’s political action committee — “One Tough Nerd PAC” — has donated $5,000 to Ouimet’s campaign.

Driskell’s campaign has made two large payments of $20,000 to the Michigan Democratic State Central Co., as well as the Michigan House Democratic Fund. The Michigan Democratic Party has put out a number of anti-Ouimet ads leading up to the November election.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

Gretchen has my best interests at heart, I already know this. She will work across party lines unlike her competition who only serves his ultimate Koch Brothers masters

Basic Bob

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

At this point in the campaign, both candidates are raising the bulk of their money from PACs. This money is coming from outside of the district to manipulate your vote. So are the lies. Campaign finance disclosures reveal who is trying to buy your vote. Driskell does not have the name recognition and would not succeed without heavy financing from these special interests, and they are driving up spending and negativity in this race.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

The most important role for state gov't is education. Mark Ouimet helped Rick Snyder balance the budget by taking money away from the education of our youth. It's about as nonsensical, unimaginative, and shortsided of a solution as one could imagine. DRISKELL gets my vote !

Jim Carty

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 2:01 p.m.

Mark Ouimet and the Michigan Republican party have run the most negative campaign I have seen in my years as a Washtenaw County resident. They have come off as people who will say anything about anyone to get re-elected. Their attacks on Gretchen Driskell have not only been factually dubious, but shameful in their desperation. They are everything that has turned people off about politics. Anyone familiar with Saline and Gretchen Driskell's tenure as mayor knows she has been a non-partisan who is liked and respected by people from both political parties. She has run a fiscally responsible government, revitalized the downtown, and been someone who brings people together, not attacks them. There's a reason Gretchen Driskell is out-raising Mark Ouimet and Ouimet is having to borrow money for his campaign - people know Gretchen, know her accomplishments, and are tired of having their mailboxes filled with lies.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

He likes her but still would deny her an abortion if she was raped and lies about her record. With friends like that we need more Gretchen Driskells.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

Sounds like you're from Saline, not Dexter? And where has MARK OUIMET attacked his opponent? If you talk to him, you'd find he actually likes her...


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 12:14 p.m.

Mark is the textbook example of why we need to get rid of term limits. We have a dedicated man who truly cares about the people the 52nd district and the state of Michigan. Way to go Mark and thank you for all of your dedication


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

I agree that we need to get rid of term limits even if I don't agree about Ouimet. These term limits have saddled us with too myopic, unaccountable pawns. I think both parties and the state would be served by having experienced leaders in the legislature.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 12:12 p.m.

Mark has a sterling reputation for be willing to meet with anyone to hear their side of the story. I know multiple people who met with him or called his office in opposition and support of the helmet law. In the end he voted against the bill which was also against his caucus. I heard the same comments about auto no fault. He does his job he listens comments but in the end he needs to do what is best for the 52nd district and for MI which I believe he has done.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

So very proud of everything Mark has done and to have him as my Representative. 4 more years then president? If only we were so lucky


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

As an Independent living in the 52nd, I am very pleased I voted for Ouimet this November. I did not vote for Ouimet two years ago, but I have seen that our State is moving ahead. We were in bad shape 2 years ago and it took a lot of bold moves to get our state on the right path. My great concern is that Driskell WILL return to the tax and spend antics of the Granholm adminsitration. You only need to look at who she has surrounded herself with during this campaign - Jeff Irwin, the MEA/union bosses. We don't need that in Lansing.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 11:59 a.m.

Ouimet should be re-elected from the 52nd District ! Our district needs to be represented by a man who had the courage to take Michigan in the right direction - not a woman who will be at the beckon call of the left wing radical Democrats like Jeff Irwin in Ann Arbor.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 1:56 p.m.

the beckon call?

taxpayer united

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 8:06 a.m.

Driskell has shown nothing but big spending in saline. She should of stayed in her plushy job at the city. She is fighting a losing battle. Congrats to Ouimet on another victory.

Paul Fisher

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 2:02 a.m.

Understands the concerns of voters? From everything I've seen and heard, directly from Driskell and her campaign as well as other sources, the only concerns she understands are those of the MEA. Driskell simply doesn't have the qualifications for the job, and if she ever were a state rep, she'd be in over her head. What happens then? She'd bow to the pressure and do everything her union backers tell her to.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 1:38 a.m.

We need a hard working, dedicated person like Gretchen Driskell to represent us. She understands the concerns of voters and will work tirelessly for the people. Her integrity and vision is far superior to our current representation. I urge you to vote on November 6, and ask that you vote for Gretchen Driskell.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 1:44 a.m.

No Thanks


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

I think we have enough cranky grey faced white men in Government. Go Gretchen!


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 12:14 p.m.

Why is it that every time the Democrats are getting crushed they go for the nasty personal attacks and off based remarks? That is the way Driskell and her supporters are steering her campaign. I am not interested in a candidate that pulls off this type of baloney.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 3:19 a.m.

I'm not a typical Democrat Michi-Man. I am an Extraordinary Democrat, and I am still tied of old white men politicians especially when they want to tell women what to do with their own Mr. Quimet does, and I am tired of seeing that BS ad Quimets running against Ms. Driskell about how shes voted for 8 raises. Its 8 100 dollar raises in like 12 years. Quimets nothing but a blue balling liar.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 1:44 a.m.

There ya go! Support someone because she is a women. Never mind the qualifications. Speaks VOLUMES about some of the voters!

Michigan Man

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 1 a.m.

Typical democrat introducing race into political matters.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

The polices put in place my Gov. Sndyer and the REPUBLICAN House and Senate are working. However, more time is needed for many of these polices to fully take effect and we must send Mark to represent us in Lansing.


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 1 p.m.

Who are they working for? Where's those jobs Snyder promised. Sounds your whole campaign as being this big bad job creator and then produce no jobs. Kinda like


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 1:41 a.m.

Yes, thank goodness they saved the auto industry single handedly saving tens of of thousands of...

Jake Morano

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 12:12 a.m.

We are so lucky to have Mark as or Representative. He has done so much for us. I am glad we have such a level headed person representing us!

Susie Q

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 3:13 a.m.

We are not lucky unless we are a" wealthy man". Other than that constituency, Mr Ouimet has been a profound disappointment. If you are middle class, if you are a senior, if you are gay, if you are a woman, if you are a public school student (or parent); Mr Ouimet has taken $ out of your pocket and put $ into the pockets of someone wealthier than you. Replace Mr Ouimet.

Cheryl Hieber

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

Campaign debt: Driskell with no debt and Ouimet with over $74,000 debt. That in itself tells a story.


Sun, Oct 28, 2012 : 2:07 a.m.

It's only "a story" if you're unfamiliar with the many nuances of campaign finance.