John P. McCulloch has become the third official representing the lakes area who is seeking a higher office at the federal level, now that he has officially announced that he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge two-term U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat.
McCulloch, a Royal Oak Republican who was first elected as the county’s Water Resource Commissioner in 2000, is a previous chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.
He joins state Sen. Mike Kowall (R-Commerce, Highland, Milford, Walled Lake, Wixom, Wolverine Lake, White Lake, Orchard Lake, West Bloomfield), who is running for Congress, and U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Waterford, White Lake, Highland, Milford, Commerce, Wolverine Lake, Walled, Wixom), who is running for president, in a quest for higher office at the federal level.
“I am running for the United States Senate because I can no longer stand by while President Obama and his Democratic cronies in the Congress continue to mortgage America’s future on the backs of our children and their children’s children with a national debt so large it is difficult to comprehend,” McCulloch stated in a press release announcing his U.S. Senate candidacy. “The time for talk is long past due. It’s time for action, which is why I’m in this race. This great country of ours desperately needs a change of direction, one that will lead to prosperity and economic stability, rather than financial ruin.”
“John McCulloch is a strong leader who is fiscally conservative and believes in the Republican doctrine of smaller government which is closest to the people it is intended to serve,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson stated in the same news release. “John is a skilled problem-solver who boasts an enviable track record of getting things done. If elected, John will serve the best interests of the citizens of Michigan with integrity, skill and unbridled determination and enthusiasm. Michigan needs John McCulloch in the United States Senate. He’s the right man at the time in our state’s history, which is why I am supporting his candidacy.”
Michigan Democrats were quick to pounce on McCulloch’s candidacy, noting that several top-tier candidates — former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, McCotter, and former Gov. John Engler among them — have decided not to challenge Stabenow, whose latest filing with the Federal Elections Commission as of March 31 reported that she had $3 million on hand for a re-election campaign, although the Michigan Democratic Party is reporting that she has over $4 million on hand for 2012.
“It’s really not surprising that top candidates do not want to challenge Debbie Stabenow,” Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer stated in a press release issued the same day McCulloch announced his campaign. “Debbie Stabenow is getting results on issues important to Michigan families like job creation, fighting unfair trade and protecting the Great Lakes. She is in a very strong position so it’s not hard to see why Republicans are having trouble finding a top candidate willing to run against her.”
U.S. Senators earn $174,000 annually and serve six-year terms. The county’s water resources commissioner serves four-year terms and earns $138,999 a year.