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Posted on Fri, May 11, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell files to make campaign for Michigan House official

By Ryan J. Stanton

Democrat Gretchen Driskell made her campaign official on Friday, submitting paperwork to run in the 52nd District race for the Michigan House.

The Saline mayor is hoping to challenge Rep. Mark Ouimet, R-Scio Township, in November for a chance to represent a large portion of Washtenaw County at the state level.

"As we saw last week, education will be at the forefront of our campaign," Driskell said in a statement emailed to supporters on Friday afternoon.


Gretchen Driskell at her recent campaign kickoff event.

Ryan J. Stanton |

"From passing the controversial cyber schools legislation, to raising interest rates on student loans and defunding vital higher education research corridors like at the University of Michigan, Representative Mark Ouimet has the wrong values when it comes to kids, education and creating jobs in Michigan," Driskell continued, arguing Ouimet has "mislead his constituents time and time again by voting against what is best for us."

Driskell said while Ouimet can self-fund much of his campaign, she's relying on help from a large number of grass-roots donors who have already given to her campaign.

"This race will be close and starting early is key," she wrote in her email announcement, calling for donations of $10, $25 or $50 to help get her message out.


Mark Ouimet

Ouimet defended his record in the Legislature, saying the Republicans have taken measures to balance the state's budget without gimmicks for the first time in years.

"Now we're within about a half a percent of the national unemployment rate," he said. "We've added 100,000 new jobs last year. We have improved our bond rating as a state. And we have put in place a tax system that helps 95,000 small business owners, the LLCs."

Added Ouimet: "And the bottom line is we took over with a $1.5 billion deficit and we're at about a $400 million surplus."

Ouimet had choice words for his opponent.

"I completely understand the level of frustration that she has, wanting to go back to the Granholm years," he said. "But I think our state has moved past that now and is focused on the economy and jobs."

The filing deadline is Tuesday. So far, Driskell and Ouimet face no challengers within their respective parties in the August primary.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Sun, May 13, 2012 : 2:30 a.m.

Ouimet has been a massive disappointment to his constituents. We were sold a bill of goods. He has consistently voted against the best interests of the real working people of this district and for the interests of his wealthy benefactors. I'm delighted to see Mayor Driskell take on this campaign and look forward to her service in the state legislature!

Lac Court Orilles

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

Check the facts before you believe anything Quimet says .......... MYTH: "We've added 100,000 new jobs last year." FACT: Obama added these jobs by loaning money to the car companies. Quimet didn't create one single job, and he shouldn't be taking any credit. MYTH: "We have put in place a tax system that helps 95,000 small business owners, the LLCs." FACT: 95,000 wealthy people (such as his wealthy physician wife who supports him) now pay no State income taxes while senior citizens living on fixed pensions loose their incomes with a "graduated" income tax that literally took food right off their table. FACT: Quimet's voting record did hurt children. FACT: Quimet is nothing but a rubber stamp Republican who always votes the party line. He doesn't even think!

Basic Bob

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

None of your "facts" hold water. Small business owners pay tax on their income to both federal and state governments on their personal tax returns. They are also responsible for both the employer and employee parts of the payroll tax which you share with your employer. And the only retirees who will be punished by the tax on pensions will be the 1% rich seniors, it's hard to see why you would have a problem with that.

Silent Majority

Fri, May 11, 2012 : 11:30 p.m.

Go Gretchen! Ouimet never told us the truth about who he would be in Lansing. He's voted in lockstep with the GOP. We need you to run hard and beat him.


Fri, May 11, 2012 : 9:50 p.m.

Gretchen , whoever is giving you advice needs to stop, they are killing your chance for winning this election. Do not use our children as you are here. It is not Mark Ouimet or the Republicans who are doing anything to hurt education. It is the past 20 years of school districts not living within their means and thinking some golden goose would lay them an egg. It is the past 20 years of politicians running 1 million manufacturing jobs out of this state because of high business taxes. Without jobs, there is no money to fund education or anything else. The Gov. and Mr. Ouimet have turned this state around dramtically in just over one year. You are just another lefty loosy , big tax and spend limousine liberal who wants to rob Peter to pay Paul. Naw, just throw more and more money at education. Give the unions more and more. Your posturing is more about your getting support from the unions than it is about the kids or their parents. Feed the beast Gretchen and they will feed you in return. You remind me of the lady that blew us away for eight years, we certainly don't need any more of that. Good Day


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

Yo Snoopaloop, About the jobs growth, quick question for you to research before you praise the GOP and/or eat up its sugary stance that it itself created the jobs this year: Go look up how many businesses signed up to start in Michigan and open jobs for 2012 before Snyder or the GOP had any control. Go look it up. I dare you. And in regard to your weak-minded 'limousine liberal who wants to rob Peter to pay Paul,' talk about your inherent belief in robbing senior citizens in this state to fund business. You have 10 minutes. Go.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 7:54 p.m.

I know, I know don't confuse you with facts your mind is made up!! But you do need a reality check. Michigan's rebound is once again because of the auto industry NOT the GOP or Mr. Ouimet. Having been an advocate for children for 34 years I can tell you Mr. Ouimet votes have not helped but hurt children and education!


Fri, May 11, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

Whatever happens I hope the Ping sister wont run for Saline Mayor......Rumor has it :)

John of Saline

Fri, May 11, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

Which one?