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Published: Wednesday, 2/10/2010

1 of 5 Michigan GOP hopefuls focuses on grassroots campaigning

BLADE STAFF

TEMPERANCE - Giving speeches on the campaign trail is one way to reach constituents in a statewide race.

But Mike Bouchard said talking to folks at kitchen tables and in living rooms is an effective way to learn the real issues facing voters.

Mr. Bouchard, one of five candidates seeking the GOP nomination for governor, was scheduled to appear last Saturday at the home of Temperance resident Jason Sheppard.

He said last week he was looking forward to the informal gathering because it offers the opportunity to talk to voters one to one.

"I think people are more comfortable with that type of dialogue. They are longing for it," he said.

Mr. Bouchard, who is the Oakland County sheriff, has tapped two-term Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land as his running mate.

Also seeking the Republican nomination for governor are Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoestra, Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder, state Sen. Tom George, Troy resident David Kniffen, and Huron County resident Timothy Rujan.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm cannot seek re-election because of term limits. The primary election is in August.

State Sen. Randy Richardville (R., Monroe) and some elected Republican county commissioners were expected to attend the gathering. It is being viewed as a way for Mr. Bouchard, who is considered a long shot for the nomination, to reach out to undecided voters.

Said Richard Steiner, chairman of the Bedford Township Republican Club: "Whether it's Mike Bou-

chard, Mike Cox, or any of the other candidates, Bedford Township residents who live far away from Lansing sometimes don't know anything about the issues unless they are really strong in following politics.

"These candidates need to get out there and tell us what they want to do and once and for all do what they say they are going to do."

Mr. Bouchard said Michigan must be able to compete with other states to address the budget deficit and job losses across the state.

"There is no question that the number one issue focus for the next governor is how we create an environment that allows businesses to stay, grow, and choose to locate in this state," he said.



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