Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell to Challenge Rep. Mark Ouimet for 52nd District Seat in November

Both candidates were unopposed in Tuesday's primary election according to unofficial election results from the Washtenaw County Clerk's Office.

Two candidates vying to represent the 52nd Michigan House District for the next two years were unopposed in their Aug. 7 primary races.

State Rep. Mark Ouimet of Scio Township will face Democratic challenger Gretchen Driskell of Saline in November.

"We've been working very hard doing a lot of door-to-door and direct campaigning in the district," Ouimet said Tuesday night. "A lot of constiuents are overwhelmingly pleased with the direction of leadership in Lansing. They see the turnaround from 14 percent unemployment two years ago to 8 1/2 percent, a better bond rating, and increased funding to pay down longterm debt. There's a lot of positive things happening for Michigan right now."

With 116 of the 168 precincts reporting in at 11:30 p.m., Ouimet secured 7,410 votes to 62 write-in votes. Driskell received 3,338 votes to 4 write-in votes.

Driskell, who has been mayor of Saline since 1999, has been critical of the Republicans' cuts to revenue sharing payments to municipalities since announcing her campaign in March.

"I am running for state representative because I believe the people in our communities have not been adequately represented. Lansing has cut education funding, community development programs, and put business before people," she said. "I believe a more educated population will give us a greater competitive edge globally than the giant corporate tax cut that was implemented last year."

Driskell said the state needs a more balanced approach as it considers the interests of business and communities.

"If we are to be globally competitive in this 21st century economy we need to be investing in the people and places that create successful communities," she said.

In Ouimet, Driskell faces tough competition. Since 2010, the 52nd District was redrawn. It's considerably more friendly to Republicans than it was, as heavily Democratic areas in Ann Arbor have been replaced by more Republican-leaning areas. Ouimet, whose official campaign announcement included , has raised $230,000 in donations compared to Driskell's $64,000.

Seth August 08, 2012 at 08:00 AM
Daniel you're usually pretty balanced, but in this case you're leaving out some key details: much of mark ouimet's "$230,000" raised was contributions by him to his own campaign, and expenditures consisting of repayments to himself using donor money. http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/exp_anls_res.cgi?doc_seq_no%3D359798%26doc_stmnt_year%3D2012%26com_id%3D514508%26doc_date_proc%3D07/27/2012%26sched%3D%2A%26doc_type_code%3DP1%26caller%3Dcf_online There's also the small fact that the vast majority of races in this primary were republican vs republican, thus driving democratic turnout down appearing to produce smaller numbers for Driskell. While it looks like there's little support in the raw numbers, if you do your due diligence and take certain factors into consideration you'd see this race is a lot closer than your reporting would lead people to believe. In a republican driven primary, she still pulled nearly half the votes.
dexter August 08, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Seth, it appears you are not much of a "numbers" person... Since Driskell received nearly half the votes Ouimet received, that means she only pulled about one third of the total (actually less than that).
Seth August 08, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Half the votes mark received is what I meant...my fault for not being clear. The point being the voters that showed were skewed republicans so the raw numbers being reported are misleading.
Laura Jones August 08, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Boy, I read this as a simple reporting of facts, not a statement about insight into what they meant. I suppose we can get a Ouimet supporter to give their slant and then call it more balanced too? I think the fact that it is a PRIMARY is self explanatory to most people. I look forward to the actual election and articles about the two candidates and their differences.
Daniel Lai August 08, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Thanks, Laura. This article reflects the numbers that I received from the county at 1 a.m. Tuesday night. As the election season begins to heat up, there will be more stories on the 52nd District.
Geralldine Scharphorn August 24, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Gretchen Driskell needs to get out and let voters get to know what she stands for She doesn't have the funds Ouimet has, but people in Saline should be supporting her for trying to put education as a top priority. Ouimet does not care about educating our future leaders. .
Deb Hutton October 31, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Gretchen represents the same values as Dingle right?


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