DETROIT, April 09, 2009 – The rumors are swirling back home about my possible campaign for Governor. I say “back home” because I am currently in Florida with my children and grandchildren enjoying the Easter break. I was not prepared to issue a press release until I returned home, but I feel I must end the rampant speculation.
I have made my decision about running for Governor. First, let me say that I have been heartened by the level of support from friends, supporters, and total strangers. I have been honored and flattered by their confidence in me.
The list of “pros” and “cons” about running for Governor grows longer each day. On the “pro” side is my feeling that I, along with my superb and tested team, could make an impact on Michigan’s future, especially when it comes to budgeting, job creation, and long-overdue business tax policy reform.
But, the “con” list grows long as well. Not least among them are family considerations as well as fulfilling my commitment to my job as Oakland County Executive.
Over my career I have been engaged in statewide issues i.e. petition drives for parole reform, capital punishment and the repeal of the single business tax to name but a few. I know what it takes to mount a statewide campaign. It takes both money and time. Friends and supporters are ready to handle the money challenges of a statewide race, but the time challenges are looking insurmountable. To run a successful campaign for Governor, I would have to leave Oakland County for a year and a half campaign at one of the most critical periods in Oakland County history.
During these challenging times I cannot justify leaving my position as Oakland County Executive unattended for the next year and a half while I engage in a statewide campaign for Governor. A prolonged absence from my post was the tipping point in my decision. It is with much regret that I announce this morning that I will not be running for Governor of the State of Michigan in 2010.
I have been privileged to serve Oakland County and its citizens since 1972, first as Prosecuting Attorney and now as County Executive. I intend to finish out my career in public service as Oakland County Executive. I am truly grateful for every day I have had to serve the 1.2 million citizens of this great County.
This decision may disappoint supporters and friends, some that I have not even met. I hope that they all understand what compelled me to make this decision and respect my loyalty to Oakland County.
Post Script: I apologize to my friends in the media with whom I have worked over the years for using a press release rather than a press conference to make this announcement. As I said earlier, I am in Florida with my kids and grandkids and it became obvious to me that my decision was leaking out. I appreciate your understanding as you write this story. I, on the other hand, am off to build a sandcastle.