As Saline Mayor for the 52nd District, incumbent Mark Ouimet, R-Scio Twp., formally announced his bid for re-election Monday.
His announcement featured the endorsement of former Saline Police Chief Paul Bunten and Fire Chief Craig Hoeft.
In a press release issued Monday, the Ouimet campaign said the first-term lawmaker "has proven to be an effective leader for Washtenaw County with a willingness to reach across party lines to help improve the quality of life for local residents and Michigan as a whole."
To date, Ouimet has no opponents. Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell announced in February that she was exploring the feasibility of a campaign to run as a Democratic candidate. She said Friday she's close to announcing her decision.
In today's release, Ouimet noted two key endorsements from Saline.
Retired Saline Police Chief Paul Bunten, who served in law enforcement for more than 47 years, supports Ouimet’s candidacy.
“Mark has always been so responsive to the needs of local residents, our individual communities and the region as a whole,” Bunten said. “Rep. Ouimet is a strong voice for reform and accountability at the state Capitol, and I enthusiastically support his bid for re-election.”
Saline Area Fire Chief Craig Hoeft also is supporting Ouimet’s candidacy.
“I strongly support Mark Ouimet because he is working hard to change the status quo in Lansing, but always looking out for the people’s interests back home,” Hoeft said. “He’s always been available to the city of Saline, answering our questions and concerns, attending meetings. He’s a proven leader and an effective advocate for all of us.”
In February, the Ouimet campaign announced it had.
In the release, Ouimet said Michigan can not return to its former ways.
“The simple truth is that Michigan can’t go back to the days of the past, when people’s hard-earned tax dollars were spent without regard for actual results,” Ouimet said. “Residents deserve to have a government that is efficient and effective, and I want to make sure Michigan stays on the right path to a brighter future.”
Ouimet also is one of only three freshmen lawmakers to lead a House committee.
“Creating jobs and strengthening Michigan’s economy must remain our top priority at the Capitol, and I’d be immensely honored to continue that important work into the next legislative session,” said Ouimet in the release. “Making state government more responsive to residents also is a priority."
As chair of the House Local, Intergovernmental and Regional Affairs Committee, Ouimet introduced led the way on legislation encouraging Michigan municipal governments to share services. The Michigan Township Association named Ouimet as its , citing the decorum, transparency and bipartisanship he displayed while leading the committee.
Ouimet said the "necessary structural reforms" the legislature approved last year are beginning to have a positive effect on the state and its financial outlook. The state’s unemployment rate continues to decline, thousands of jobs are being created and the state budget now has a small budget surplus.
“The tough decisions we’ve made over the last year are starting to bear fruit in several significant ways,” Ouimet said. "The latest example is with the governor’s recent budget proposal. Who would have thought that in 2012 we’d be talking about what to do with a budget surplus, when only a year earlier we were forced to contemplate massive cuts due to a $1.5 billion deficit?”
Ouimet said he supports the governor's budget proposal to increase funding for schools, public safety and local governments.